In 1997, deep sea microphones recorded a loud and mysterious sound in the depths of the ocean off the southern coast of South America. The audio equipment recorded a “bloop” noise, which led scientists to nickname the sound The Bloop (how creative of them).
Take a listen:
(The sound in that video is actually the original recording sped up to 16-times its original speed. If you listen to it at normal speed, it doesn’t really sound like anything.)
For years, the noise befuddled researchers. It should come as no surprise that noises like this don’t typically emanate from the deep sea, where light and sound aren’t exactly commonplace. Nothing like it had ever been recorded before and nothing similar was recorded again in the ensuing years.
What was the cause of The Bloop? Conspiracy theorists immediately jumped to conclusions, arguing that it was probably a military experiment or a deep-sea alien base.
On the rational side of things, many scientists noted that The Bloop fit the profile of a sound created by a living creature. This led to the theory that the sound could have been produced by an undiscovered species of giant squid. There was just one problem with this theory: the sound was recorded by multiple microphones over 3,000 miles apart. If it was a giant squid, it was a really giant squid.
So, what was it?
Scientists now believe they have identified the source of the sound, and the answer, like a lot of scientific discoveries, is a lot less exciting than some of the theories.
According to the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, scientists have concluded that the sound is “consistent with icequakes generated by large icebergs as they crack and fracture.” Recently, a number of other icequakes have been recorded and they sound very similar to The Bloop.
So, basically, it was an iceberg snapping in half. Not an awesome giant squid letting out a huge fart. Not a submarine conducting a super-secret weapons test. Not the lost city of Atlantis or anything exciting like that.
Sometimes, science crushes your dreams.
Unless of course, the icequakes are caused by secret military tests. Or maybe giant squid hate icebergs. I think I might be on to something here!