The Noises Underneath The Ocean

Blue Whale

Unbeknownst to many, there was an unidentified noise recorded by NOAA, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, during summer of 1997 in the southern Pacific Ocean. This noise, nicknamed “The Bloop,” was loud enough to be heard by two SOSUS microphones that were spaced apart by roughly three-thousand miles; SOSUS stands for Sound  Surveillance System, and was originally operated since the early 1960’s to detect submarines.

The noise did not initially stand out (Aside from being incredibly loud) but after the noise was sped up 16 times the speed by NOAA, it was found the noise was reminiscent of a loud “bloop” noise, hence it’s name “The Bloop.” Oddly enough, the Bloop was believed to have been made by a living animal, as the noise pattern was very similar to noises generated by living marine animals compared to the noise created by icequakes, which is the noise produced when very large icebergs scrape against the ocean floor. The noise has garnered the attention of many who suspected it to be a range of animals from the prehistoric Megalodon shark to the mythical Cthulhu from H.P. Lovecraft’s horror novels.

However, unbeknownst to many more, the Bloop was not the only unidentified sound recorded by NOAA in the 1990’s. There was also Upsweep on August, 1991, Train on March 5th, 1997, Slow Down recorded on May 19th, 1997, Whistle on July 7th, 1997, and Julia on March 1st, 1999. Each sound is very unusual, and they were all recorded by NOAA from 1991 to 1999 in the Pacific Ocean. Only the sources of Julia and Train cannot be determined, although Train is theorized to have been an icequake in the Ross Sea near Antarctica and Julia was so loud that it was detected across the entirety of the Pacific Ocean SOSUS network.

Perhaps the strangest phenomenon regarding these unidentified sounds is that the GPS coordinates of Upsweep, Bloop, Slow Down and Whistle (In chronological order) appear to be moving from near Antarctica in the center between South America and New Zealand in 1991 to almost off the Mexican coast in 1997. It is most likely that this is merely a coincidence, although it is certainly interesting that the locations form almost a trail.

NOAASince their discovery, NOAA has retracted its claim that the sounds were made by some undiscovered animal and reclassified the Bloop, Upsweep, Train, Slow Down, Whistle, and Julia as all being the result of icequakes. This is due to the volume of the Bloop requiring a creature many times larger than the Blue Whale to even make a noise that loud, and supposedly the noises match that made by icequakes. Conversely Dr. Christopher Fox (A researcher with NOAA) initially claimed that it was ice calving (When ice chunks on the edge of a glacier break off causing a loud boom or crack) near Antarctica, although he later changed his opinion that the Bloop was created by a living creature. This opinion is supported by other scientists, as icequakes are a natural occurrence where the noises were only recorded from 1991 to 1997.

Whatever the cause of the Bloop or any of the other noises was, they have certainly captured many experts’ and average peoples’ imaginations, and it is important to remember that humans have only explored roughly 5% of the Earth’s oceans, leaving the possibilities open as to what caused them, be it icebergs or an undiscovered creature lurking in the depths.


6 thoughts on “The Noises Underneath The Ocean

  1. David, excellent blog post. The “Bloop” is believed to be, by some including myself, of the great Megladon shark. Crazy, I know! But there has been some startling evidence that provides some insight on the subject. Check it out, and tell me what you think. There’s also been some “photos” taken by Japanese whale hunters in the artic of an undiscovered creature of white skin and almost human like, called the Ningen. Check them out too! – Dan

    1. Thanks Dan! I’d heard about the Bloop before, but I was surprised that there were other noises nobody had ever heard of. It was especially strange when I found that the GPS coordinates of the sounds (The hyperlinks in the 4th paragraph) show them almost leading to the U.S. I’ve also heard about another anomaly called “Quackers” that Soviet submarines used to detect that I might do an article on. Thanks for suggesting the Ningen, I’ll have to research that now; thanks for reading my blog!

  2. I’m all into whistle! It must be submarine volcanic eruption! It was recorded in 1997!
    No not an iceberg grounding,not an icequake,not a giant sea creature,AND NOT A WHALE!
    It’s just a submarine volcanic eruption!

  3. Ok so Slow down the was recorded in 1997 by the National oceanic and atmospheric administration.
    (NOAA SOSUS) It was generated by an Iceberg coming to a sudden stop at the seafloor or a whale! Or a mysterious sea creature. This was right off the Antarctic peninsula.

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