WUB WUB WUB goes the totally inexplicable sound recorded by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) way back in ’97 (how many apocalypses ago was that?). Although the eerie sound was “explained” late last year by Wired Magazine, there are still some biologists that have concluded that the noise didn’t come from any “icequake”, but rather from some type of humungous unidentified organism—the question is what?
When it was discovered, researchers dubbed the ominous sound “the Bloop” after the silly little bloopy sound it made when they sped it up x16 and released it to the public (why, the hell, we might ask, when the real-time version provided below is so much more hair-raising). It came with a rash of other mysterious underwater sounds named for their everyday associations—the Train, the Whistle, the Slowdown (also provided below). Good ol’ ’97 seems to have been the peak year for these haunting undersea melodies. None have been recorded since.
The blue whale is the largest and loudest of all known animals, but analysts say the gentle giant is not the culprit here. This sound registered on oceanic microphones over three thousand miles apart. That puts the blue whale’s singing voice (and presumably its size) to shame.
(However, I like to think this sound was made by a little minnow-sized critter with trumpet-like feelers coming out all over its body—no bigger than a goldfish when fully grown. That’s just me, though.)
Various theories caught on when the sounds went public. Lovecraft fans were ecstatic to learn that the NOAA pinpointed their source only about 650 miles from the mighty Cthulu’s fabled homestead off the South American coast, but no mountainous monster has yet arose from the deep to destroy all of humanity. Scientists have more recently speculated that the sounds come from icequakes in gigantic icebergs, but Dr. Christopher Fox of the NOAA who originally proposed this has since redacted. He once again thinks it was some sort of enormous unknown organism. I mean, c’mon, does this sound like an iceberg to you? And are we really gonna let them spoil our mystery-loving fun like that?
Here’s the audio—the real time Bloop doesn’t get really interesting until about 00:50, so be patient. (Or, for all you, “Don’t tell me what to do,” folks, just skip ahead.) What do you think this thing is? Icebergs? A prank call from Unidentified Submarine Objects? The rare and exquisite Pigmy Trumpet Blowfish of the Antarctic? Contrary to what some skeptics might have you think, the bloop hasn’t really been solved, and all that jabber about icebergs is still inconclusive, at best, even if it is the preferred “scientific” answer. The mystery remains!
Here is the Bloop in real time: