The Bloop Heard Around The World

Harmon Lanager, Staff writer

We know more of the moon’s surface than we do the bottom of the oceans. Strange lifeforms have evolved under the crushing weight and oppressive darkness – transparent fish, horrific-looking crabs, and things that vaguely resemble life as we know it. With so much of the seas and oceans untouched by man, is it possible that something ancient and colossal could be lingering in the depths? Welcome back, fellow guppies, to this week’s Conspiracy Corner and our look into the mysterious sound that made the world shudder: The Bloop. 

For centuries, sailors have told tall tales of monsters lurking below the surface of the sea. From the Kraken that dragged ships into the sea to the Leviathan that swallowed galleons whole, there has been no shortage of myths and stories of gigantic beasts waiting to prey on passing vessels. As we learn more about the ocean and the creatures belonging to it, we learn that some of those myths had more fact than fiction to them. Discoveries such as the colossal squid and the oarfish remind us that the ocean, and the creatures living beneath the waves, are great mysteries that we may never unravel. 

When remembering one of the strangest incidents out at sea, some may feel a chill. In 1997, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) was using microphones to pick up sound in the Pacific Ocean when they heard a strange noise. Oddly enough, the sound was picked up from two different microphones 3,219 kilometers away. To reach that distance, the sound had to be incredibly loud. This sound must have been one of the loudest sounds recorded in history. 

It became known as “The Bloop,” a sound that was recorded in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Specifically, it was around 1,500 miles off the coast of South America. To fans of classic horror literature, this has a certain degree of eeriness. This is because the approximate location of the Bloop is the same area once described by horror author H.P. Lovecraft in his short story, “The Call of Cthulhu.” In the story, the city of R’lyeh rises from the bottom of the ocean and releases the titular Cthulhu. Now, do I think the Old Ones are preparing to rise to the surface to consume the world? Personally, I doubt it. But it’s a fun coincidence. 

The question remains, what is the Bloop? The official explanation is that it was glacier movement of ice cracking and grinding as a section of the ice caps broke off. Other experts argue that the sound is of a blue whale. If it was a blue whale or similar creature, it would be the largest marine animal known to man, at around 250 feet.  

The ocean will always be a great fascination for mankind. Under its placid waves, many strange creatures lurk. We may never discover all that lies in the depths, but we know that the ocean was once home to beasts of great strengths and sizes. Could those beasts still be there? If the Bloop is nothing more than the cracking of ice, we turn our attention to the countless crevices and depths that could be hiding something extraordinary. We may never conquer the sea, but aren’t we all curious who we are sharing the it with?