Thursday, March 6, 2014
Most cryptids have never been caught on video. Many have never been photographed. A handful have never even been witnessed -- their presence is inferred from physical evidence or second-hand tales. But there is only one cryptid that has never been seen at all. It's called the Bloop, and it's the first ever "acoustic cryptid." Our only knowledge of this creature, if a creature at all, is the sound that it makes.
The Bloop was first documented by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. For decades, they had been monitoring the sounds of the sea -- recording and documenting everything their microphones picked up. Most of these sounds were identifiable, such as whale calls and submarine engines. But one of them was not. Dubbed "the Bloop", it was phenomenally loud, and came from the deep Pacific. The noise was clearly not man-made in origin, and did not match common oceanographic events. So what was it?
One scientist at the NOAA attributed the sound to a massive animal. Its sonic profile, he said, did not fit anything geological. It was most likely a living being, due to the specific frequency alterations found within the sound. If this were the case, the Bloop would have to be a new species. And it would be something unlike all known sea creatures. Blue whales are the loudest animals in the ocean, but the Bloop dwarfed the volume and the depth of their songs. One scientist estimated, based on sonic force alone, that the Bloop would have to be 250 feet long.
For years the Bloop went unexplained, the subject of rampant speculation. But finally, in 2013, NOAA scientists announced that the mystery had been solved. The Bloop, they said, was not organic at all. In fact, it was the sound produced by massive icequakes. These quakes (scientifically called "cryoseisms") are caused by stress fractures in massive blocks of ice. When they finally split apart, their soundforms are identical to the Bloop -- which was merely such an icequake on a massive scale. I'll admit I'm disappointed that the Bloop isn't organic. But would you really want to swim with a 250-foot monster?
Read more about the Bloop, and listen to it at the first link below!
Image (public domain) from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Bloop.jpg