VSL:SCIENCE // Hear the earth sing

Several times in 1997, at spots as far as 3,000 miles apart, U.S. hydrophones in the equatorial Pacific recorded rising, ultra-low-frequency sounds that lasted more than a minute. The sounds were animal-like but far too loud to have been caused by any known animal. The Bloop, as the sound came to be known, made its way into the music world, and onto Hollywood soundtracks (it’s the giant-eel cry in The Loch). It was never identified. And then, suddenly, it stopped.

But the Bloop is only one of the inexplicable noises described — and played — in this strange article at noiseaddicts.com. Check out the Taos Hum — an untraceable low rumble. (Best scientific guess? It’s the sound of microwaves pulsing in from outer space.) And the mistpouffers — booming noises heard near water in several otherwise quiet spots around the globe. (Best scientific guess? Thunder traveling vast distances in unique atmospheric and topographic conditions.) Our favorite sound file, “the Sound of Hell,” is a recording of screamlike sounds reportedly made at the bottom of the deepest hole ever drilled, in Russia. Our best scientific guess? We’re going with hell.

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