Wednesday, April 15, 2015

NOAA Unidentified Sounds

NOAA stands for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and they have a great habit of capturing some creepy sh*! on their autonomous hydrophones.  I already have a pretty large fear of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, the creatures which may lay below, able to survive places man cannot venture to, lurking around down there unbeknownst to the human race, huge, many teeth, slow or fast-moving....*shudder*  Below I have inserted audio clips of some of the strangest and creepiest recorded unidentified sounds.  Keep in mind, these are nothing but simple sounds but when you try to picture in your mind WHAT exactly may be making these sounds...your imagination can start to unnerve you very quickly and very easily.


Recorded in August of 1991, Upsweep consists of a "long train of narrow-band upsweeping sounds of several seconds in duration each."  The source of Upsweep has been tracked to a location of inferred volcanic seismicity and seems to be seasonal, reaching its peaks in Spring and Autumn.  The source level was strongest in 1991 and has been declining ever since but can still be captured on the hydrophones throughout the Pacific Ocean.  Upsweep is more precisely located near Antarctica, about 2,500 miles west of the southern tip of South America.  It was originally believed that the Upsweep sound might be fin whales but this theory was debunked in 1996 when researchers argued there wasn't enough variation in the tone for it to be created biologically.


Bloop is perhaps the most well-known unidentified sound.  At least it's the first one I heard of many years ago.  Bloop was captured in 1997.  The sound is apparently consistent with the noises generated by "icequakes" or large icebergs scraping along the ocean floor.  What's creepy about Bloop is that it is several times louder than the loudest recorded animal, the blue whale.  However, some believe that maybe Bloop is evidence of an even larger life form lurking in the depths of the oceans.  Interestingly enough, no other Bloops have been recorded since 1997.


I'm simultaneously creeped out by this and laughing beause it sounds like Chewbacca yawning before taking a nice nap.   Julia was recorded in 1999 near Antarctica.  Julia lasts 15 seconds and is said to be the sound of a large iceberg running into the seafloor.  I'm going to hold my ground that there's a really large species of underwater Chewbaccas that are just really sleepy.

Slow Down

Slow Down is pretty dang creepy to me.  Recorded in 1997, the source is believed to be an iceberg becoming grounded.  Slow Down's sound slowly decreases over the course of SEVEN MINUTES and has been picked up several times each year since first being heard in 1997, according to Wikipedia.  Apparently Slow Down is the result of the friction caused by a large sheet of ice moving over land.


Recorded in 1997, Train rises to a quasi-steady frequency.  Once again, the origin is likely to be a very large iceberg grounded in the Ross Sea near Cap Adare.  Interstingly, Train was the unidentified sound I was able to gather the least amount of information on during my research.

So, lovely readers, how do you feel about these unidentified sounds?  Are they not creepy at all?  Are they slightly unnerving?  Do you believe them all to be iceberg shifts or volcanic activity or is it possible there is something else down there producing these noises?  I guess we are left only to rely on science as best we can in this situation, but if even the greatest scientists classify these sounds as "unidentified", is it possible that they could be made by something we couldn't even imagine?  *shudders again for good measure*


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