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November 29 2012

The Bloop mystery has been solved: it was never a giant sea monster


In 1997, the Bloop was heard on hydrophones across the Pacific. It was a loud, ultra-low frequency sound that was heard at listening stations underwater over 5,000km apart, and one of many mysterious noises picked up by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Several articles in the years that followed popularised a hunch of marine geophysicist Christopher Fox that the Bloop might have been the sound of an unknown animal, a theory that elevated the Bloop to the level of a great unsolved mystery.

However, the NOAA is pretty sure that it wasn't an animal, but the sound of a relatively common event -- the cracking of an ice shelf as it breaks up from Antarctica.

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