Unheard Sounds from Depth of Marianas Trench have left Researchers without Answers

Some researchers have been scouring the depths of our seas for some basic answers about our Earth.One of the projects included a visit for Challenger Deep to the bottom of deepest place on Earth. What made this visit spectacular was that the researchers were able to record audio at such a depth for the first time.

And the result was shocking even for the researchers.   Deep rumbles, unearthly moans, high pitched screeching: these are but a few elements of the alien soundscape researchers have now recorded for the first time at Challenger Deep, the deepest known valley on the seafloor.

Challenger Deep has been sitting at the bottom of the Mariana trench at 36,000 feet beneath the ocean surface for exploration. But in reality, we know very little about what life is like down there: as with most places where the sun never shines, the Mariana trench is shrouded in mystery.

A research team from Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University has sent a microphone deep inside Marianas Trench, the deepest part of ocean. What they heard from the recording came as a surprise as the audio indicated that it is unexpectedly noisy deep down there.

“Light does not propagate underwater very far,” oceanographer Bob Dziak of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) told Gizmodo. “But sound waves travel long distances through the Earth’s oceans. Acoustics is really the best way to get a good picture of deep ocean environments.”

The recording device was sent seven miles below the ocean surface. The device recorded several loud noises that were later identified as sounds from several earthquakes, moans of baleen whales, a typhoon and ship traffic 36,000 feet above the specially designed microphone anchored to the trench’s seafloor.

“In theory, it should be one of the quietest places in the ocean, we were really surprised at how clear the acoustics are at this place”, added Dziak.

Dziak launched the project two years ago with an amount of $100,000 for a goal of establishing a baseline for ambient noise inside the Mariana Trench.

Dziak hopes to return to Challenger Deep to capture more audio in the future. He said that he would also like to use his high-pressure hydrophone to explore other uncharted waters, including remote areas of the deep Arctic Ocean that are now starting to open up to ships as the ice caps retreat.