Right now, humanity seems to be focused not only on the development of everyday technology, but also on the exploration of space. Projects such as the colonization of Mars or the frequent launching of satellites and spaceships show how we're aiming at the stars and beyond. However, there’s an unexplored world that’s much more mysterious and nearer to us than Mars and outer space: the ocean.
Although we have a general idea of how deep the ocean is and all the creatures that inhabit it, there are parts we haven't explored yet. For instance, the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean, hasn’t been completely explored because of the high pressure the water exerts (about 1000 times the atmospheric pressure at surface level). There have been only four successful descents to the bottom. The most famous one was the Trieste expedition, on January 23, 1960. Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard, the men commanding the bathyscaphe, claimed they saw flatfish and shrimp living at the bottom of this dark chasm, but a 2014 expedition revealed the existence of snailfish and gigantic crustaceans. However, there’s still much to explore in this part of the world, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if there were monstrous creatures lurking under the sea.
Far from the Marianas Trench, but also in the Pacific Ocean, a mysterious sound was detected by the hydrophones of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1997. That strange, deep, and loud sound resembled those made by whales, but researchers knew that not even great blue whales can make a sound detectable 5000 km away from the sensors and in such a deep level of the ocean. Moreover, Dr. Christopher Fox from the NOAA believed the sound was “organic,” in other words, no machine, bomb, or submarine was capable of making such a powerful sound. Then, what or who was the source of that sound that would later be known as the “Bloop”?
The low frequency of the Bloop, together with its loud howl-like sound, has made many believe it came from a gigantic sea creature. Considering that oceans haven’t been completely explored, as well as the gigantism of abyssal creatures, the idea doesn’t seem that far-fetched after all. Moreover, in terms of physics, only an enormous creature could be capable of enduring the hostile conditions at the bottom of the ocean, including its heavy pressure and low temperatures. According to Kleiber’s law, an animal’s metabolism is proportionate to their size, so the bigger the animal, the better their metabolism. That would be one of the main reasons why abyssal creatures, having to struggle more for food, increased their size as they evolved, and so their metabolism and ability to keep nutrients for longer periods of time. And to make things more interesting for fans of horror and the paranormal, the source of the Bloop is located near the fictional underwater city of R’lyeh, in which, according to H.P. Lovecraft’s monster universe, the mythical god Cthulhu sleeps.
Nevertheless, it's highly probable that, instead of a huge sea monster or a fallen deity, the Bloop was produced by an icequake, that is, a seismic movement on icy surfaces or a type of earthquake caused by glacial movements. Seismologist Robert Dziak from Oregon State University pointed out that the type of sound resembled those made by smaller icequakes in Antarctica. Furthermore, most of the times the NOAA detects sounds from natural phenomena, like earthquakes, iceberg groundings, the formation of sea volcanoes, as well as the sound of whales and other fish. The Bloop was only detected once, which would be strange, if there really were a sea creature roaming the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
In the end, Dziak’s explanation can be proven more easily if we compare it to the sea monster hypothesis. Nevertheless, there still remains some room for speculations and surreal situations that prove life is far stranger than fantasy. Who knows? Maybe Lovecraft warned us years ago and what we hear is Cthulhu awakening from his millenary slumber.
Are you interested on the science behind mythic creatures? Check out these articles:
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