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Scientists Identify Mysterious Sound at the Bottom of the Mariana Trench

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Scientists Identify Sound at the Bottom of the Mariana Trench
(Boris Horvat/AFP/GettyImages)


About 10 months ago, scientists released a recording of a mysterious three-and-a-half-second sound they’d heard emanating from the deepest part of the Mariana Trench. It was nicknamed the “Western Pacific Biotwang.” Listen to it below.


Since then, they’ve been trying to figure out what or who exactly made it. It turns out that it’s a new type of baleen whale call that’s never before been heard by human ears. “It’s very distinct, with all these crazy parts,” said Sharon Nieukirk, senior faculty research assistant in marine bioacoustics at Oregon State, who was on the team exploring it. “The low-frequency moaning part is typical of baleen whales, and it’s that kind of twangy sound that makes it really unique. We don’t find many new baleen whale calls.”

It’s not the first time a strange whale call has been recorded far beneath the deep blue sea. In 2001, a sound, aptly dubbed the “Star Wars call,” was found to be from that of a minke whale. Put it on repeat below.

Read the team’s full study on the baleen whale’s call here.

—RealClearLife Staff