The Mysterious Bloop

May 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm (Cartography, Cryptozoology, Military, Nautical) (, , , , )

Anyone who has ever gazed at the expanse of the ocean and experienced a mixture of wonderment and terror will feel validated upon learning about the Bloop. This sonic phenomenon, so named due to its distinct sound (“bloop…bloop”), was first picked up via undersea microphones by the United States Navy in the summer of 1997. Instead of tracking Soviet submarines, these Cold War-era microphones detected a sound with an ultra-low frequency that suggests it a) originates from an animal, and b) that this animal is significantly larger than a blue whale (the largest creature ever known to live). Microphone triangulation has placed the origin of the Bloop off the southwestern coast of South America (50 degrees S, 100 degrees W). Listen to the Bloop here.

To give you a sense of scale.

To give you a sense of scale.

The mysterious Bloop vanished as rapidly as it appeared. The sound has not been detected since 1997, although this does little to hamper the impassioned speculations of cryptozoologists, science fictions enthusiasts, and marine biologists alike. The notion that there may lie at the bottom of the sea a beast that dwarfs, both in size and in sound-making ability, history’s largest known animals is fodder for both daydreams and nightmares. I know that I, for one, will glance compulsively and fearfully downward into the darkened depths if I ever find myself afloat off the southwestern coast of South America.

Some Further Reading:

A thread on Physics Forum that discusses the Bloop

A 2002 article about the Bloop from Cnn.com

BloopWatch.org – A site for H.P. Lovecraft fans that explores the Bloop from a science fiction perspective

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