1 Jan 2008

Bloop: A Crustacean Phenomenon?

Dear Blue Lobster:

do you know anything about bloop? i learned that it was a sound that the government recorded and that it's from a living creature, but i don't know any more than that. it happened in the ocean near south america, so i figured since you spend time down there you'd know.

thanks,
brock

Dear Gentle Sir:

Bloop was recorded in 1997 not by the United States Navy but instead by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a spying front for the United States military. Originating near 50º S 100º W, some 1,500 kilometres from the Republic of Chile, the sound was recorded by SONAR equipment more than 5,000 kilometres apart. Though researched by both academic and military specialists, no consensus was reached regarding the sound's origin.

A few facts about Bloop were disclosed that continue to intrigue the scientific community. One is that the frequency was outside the range of seismic and volcanic activity. It was, however, within the frequency that biological organisms create. The puzzler there is that the sound was so powerful no living creature, including Blue Whales or the largest known Giant and Colossal Squids, could have produced it.

To produce a sound strong enough to be heard across 5,000 kilometres of ocean at depths averaging four kilometres, the sound would have had to originate at roughly 300dB, loud enough to cause violent hemorrhaging, disorientation, and death in humans. To generate such a powerful sound, the creature would require a body mass of about 200 square meters, larger than even a Blue Whale.

There are few candidates to explain such a creature. The possibility of it being an unknown species of whale is slim, as whales must surface to breathe and an animal one and a half times the size of a Blue Whale would surely have been recorded. Theories about Bloop being a Giant Squid species or the Colossal Squid are without merit, as the largest of either species falls well below the required size and cephalopods also lack organs for generating sound.

One theory that does hold merit is that the creature is a gigantic crustacean. Lobsters and crabs "burp" bubbles of carbon dioxide gas from their gills and often retain the air to belch at other species and to impress potential mates. Comparing the Bloop sound profile to crustacean belches nets the most similarities despite obvious difference in strength.

Should Bloop have been a giant, heretofore unknown crustacean species, it would explain the similarity of the sound to crustacean burping. A crustacean at such depths would need a shell a foot or more thick to protect it from the crushing weight of the ocean, would grow incredibly slowly, and would be part of a breeding population of perhaps just a few dozen individuals.

Oceanographers and acousticians are currently examining new sounds recorded by the USNOAA, including Glop, Blorp, and Poot, that all have similar signatures in hopes of discovering the source of these enigmatic deep-ocean sounds.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

What could it eat?
How did such a thing evolve?
Just WTF?

Michael Meadon said...

Fascinating, thanks... How awesome will it be if we discover such a crustacean?!

Anonymous Coward said...

I thought the reason crustaceans were limited in size was that there is a threshold thickness of the shell beyond which molting becomes impossible.

chuckr44 said...

They must eat a lot of beans.
:)

Anonymous said...

I think that the "Bloop" is a biggest giant squid becouse we dont know how the colossal squids grow up.becouse they are kiled by the sperm whales.Maybe this colossal squid is growing faster becouse is save in the deep sea.And now ca easy eat every creature in the world even and the blue whale.....If it isnt a colosal squid maybe its some unknown bizare and horrible enormus creature..........or its and Alien!!!

Anonymous said...

If the animal is 200m by 200m then it would be about 8 acres in size. It could swallow a blue whale like a minow, yet you indicated that something 1.5 times the size of a blue whale would surely have been recorded. What is your size estimate then? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

For the question on what it eats, it most likely feeds on squid which are in fact the most common food source for most marine species, and yet still number in thousands when it comes to their breeding seasons. Possibly giant squids (and other large relatives) may be more numerous than we thought and could easily feed such a large organism, especially if did not move often and thus lowered its requirements for nutrition/energy.

Anonymous said...

I think that the govurment know what is BLOOP, but they dont tell other people its top-secret.But i think that Bloop is somehow conected with storyes about Kraken.Or if its not Kraken(giant squid) maybe its Megalodon(most powerful creature ever live on this planet)...or maybe its an Alien...........We know only 15% of the ocean>>>>>>>>>For us its still mystery...but the gouverment know something i think....................

Anonymous said...

good to see someone thinking about it .i cant understand why there isnt more curiosity or an attempt at finding the source of this noise. i found something interesting written in 1752-53 about a creature sighted ...wrote pontoppidian.......its back or upper part which seems to be in appearance about an english mile and a half (some say more, but i choose the least for certainty ) looks at first like a number of small islands surrounded by something that floats and fluctuates like sea weed ...at last several bright points or horns appear which grow thicker and thicker the higher they rise above the water , high as the mast on a middle-sized vessel, it seems these are the creatures arms and it could pull the largest man-o-war to the bottom of the sea
now this sounds like the beastie to me

Anonymous said...

Guys read the book "The Loch" by Steve Alten. Its fiction but based on scientific studies of the Bloop.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Humans are rodents. Rodents to such a titan of mass and strength. Prehaps we dont, and cant comprehend the history of this creature. This God. Perhaps he is waiting, for the right moment to rise. Rise and reclaim what is rightfully his.
O' Hear me My lord. For our time has come.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. I'a!

Anonymous said...

Haha. It's hilarious how stupid Americans blame things on Aliens. Dozy yanks!

Anonymous said...

A massive sea creature from the deepest depths hitherto unknown by man, whose call is so loud it causes madness and death?

I think we just found Cthulhu.

Anonymous said...

i'd be interesting though if the sound heard was actually the final cry of the animal so large... maybe that's why it's not been heard of since...

Anonymous said...

there is a layer of i think their shrimp and they snap their claws but they all do it and their millions in one group and the sound is said to be deafening, it is impossible to hear anything on the other side of this "wall of shrimp".
could bloop merely be a giant school (?) of shrimp?

Anonymous said...

I think that the government is scared and clueless on what to do here. They can't figure out how to make a submarine good enough to investigate further into the matter. But what I don't get is if they really are curious as to what this thing is, why don't they just genetically manipulate some human embryos that can survive in the deep oceans to examine what the heck is in that big blue yonder. I think the crustacean idea sounds better than the kraken thing. And isn't Megalodon a giant, prehistoric shark? I wouldn't want to meet anything from a million years ago... those things are scary. I think Bloop is a reminder of that, like someone who follows an old trend hoping it'll come back in style.

Anonymous said...

Now see what you've done? Now I really want to see what it is. I love any animal/fish in the see and would like to see such a fantastic species.
We know more about space than the ocean lets explore more water!

Anonymous said...

from my small amount of scentific knowledge i know, i know it's possible for crustaceans to grow to rediculous sizes because they don't have the gean that stops their growing, but after reaching a certain size the shell usually becomes to big and think, and ends up being the very thing that kills it because their movement becomes limited. But i am truthfully stumped by the thought of this being a large crab of other thing. Maybe it's something mythical. XD That'd be so cool.

Anonymous said...

Dude... it's totally the Leviathan xD

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3/04/2009:

That's impossible, squid can't produce noise. Did you even read the full article?

@Anon 6/20/2009:

To the Kraken theory, no, it's not a squid.

To the Megalodon theory, it wouldn't be big enough.

Anonymous said...

Could they graze on the flora/fauna around volcanic vents? Eat until there's essentially nothing there, then move on, REAAALY SLOWLY. so by the time another crab showed up at the vent, the ecosystem would have recovered.

Anonymous said...

"With something like that I would have white wine, I think." - Vinny from "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" regarding the Leviathan

So maybe the 'leviathan' isn't a myth after all?

Anonymous said...

The Earth is alive!

Anonymous said...

cool, maybe things from the age of the dinosaurs really do still exist!

Anonymous said...

It worries me that the creature could make a sound loud enough to cause death in humans. If such a creature were to come to the surface it could cause death to any nearby humans. Also I remember reading in a greek myth about a creature that looked like an island.Could bloop be that creature?

Anonymous said...

CLOVERFIELD

Anonymous said...

It's just Cthulhu farting. He did eat a steam-ship in the 1920's you know.

Anonymous said...

Okay, most of this is just speculation. Firstly, let's not make up thing about the government knowing it, or aliens. if aliens haven't landed, then what would they be doing in the ocean? not only that, it would take them far too long to get here, even if they did exist and had the technology.
Secondly, what would such a crustacean have evolved from? if a normal one went to such a depth, it would be crushed. Any sort of squid would automatically be ruled out, as they can't produce sound in the first place.
Third, Anonymous 7/21/09, these accounts are often fictional. If it were possible for such a creature to evolve, there would be no need for the giant 'arms' to evolve, seeing as vessels had passing that area for such a small time. Not only that, if it dwells in the deep ocean, why and how would such a large creature surface?
Fourth, Anonymous Coward, you have a point. Molting would be near impossible with such a thick shell. I must thank you also, because you have made the only constructive comment in this conversation.
In conclusion, I have no clue what we're looking at. Some of these theories have a very slight chance of being true, but i highly doubt any of it. I will not deny that this happened, but I don't think there is enough data to jump to any sort of conclusion.

Signed,
Summer Glau

Anonymous said...

It's a leviathan!!!

Anonymous said...

COOL. Probably someday- actually, most definitely someday- they''l find out just what it is..... man, I just love it when the scientific community discovers new and amazing and mind-boggling things!!! Just hope it'll happen in my lifetime....>_>;

Anonymous said...

Whatever it is... I'd love to meet it.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused...so many big words...T.T

Anonymous said...

It was Cthulhu

Anonymous said...

Okay, first of all, this Bloop-thing is really interesting and I hope we find out more about it soon!!

Second, I think some comments would also be really interesting to read IF I COULD UNDERSTAND THEM!!!! Really, people, if you've posted a comment, that means you wanted someone to read it and acknowledge your opinion. How can they do that if what you've typed is so grammatically incorrect and your spelling is so horrible, they can't understand it??? I just think it's a waste of time on both the reader's and writer's part...

Once again, props to BLOOP. =P

Anonymous said...

It was Nessie on holiday....

Anonymous said...

OH no attack of the giant crab belches!!!

on a more serious note this sounds really interesting but if it is so large then how has it stayed undiscovered for so long? surely some evidence would have come to light at an earlier date like the discovery of a gap in the food chain orevidence left when one died? and speaking of food chains, what would a crustacean this size eat?

Anonymous said...

Similar to crustacean flatulence or not, there's almost no way such a powerful noise could be created without the use of specified resonance chambers in the body and very little chance it could be made without a sustained, conscious force behind it.

There are several good points made, such as that cephalopods lack the organs to produce sound and that very little of the ocean has actually been explored. But to clear up some of the theories:
- megalodons are a species of proto-sharks, which also lack vocal organs
- not only do squids not have vocal organs (as many people will probably deny), they also lack any kind of resonance chambers in their body to make sounds audible with
- and no crustacean has been recorded or found plausible to exist that exceeds or even matches the size of an orca since Bronta Scorpia or very shortly after

The most likely cause of the noise was some form of giant marine mammal, as they have the most prominent and powerful voices of all sea creatures, but that also creates the problem of the creature not having been sighted as of yet while breathing. Mayhaps some reptilian relic of the ancient world is on the prowl again...

Anonymous said...

its the kraken

Anonymous said...

Well since the great mass extinction at the end of the Paleozoic age killed almost all the creatures in the ocean from an oxygen depletion it is possible that one of the species from that time actually survived by living in the bottom of the ocean where the animals/organisms had a better chance of survival. It is possible it is a left of prehistoric ocean creature, and we know so little about the ocean it is hard to say that a crustacean can not grow to such a size....we are just basing it off of what we can observe up here, it is a whole other world down there and life on Earth has a way of really surprising you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bloopwatch.org/

The sound may be real but an illusion also.

They base their estimate of the size on the volume of sound on two hydrophones miles apart?

A rare but not impossible event would be two creatures, one near each hydrophone makeing the same sound at the same time. A computer misunderstanding the two small sounds as one large one would project a massive sound sorce at a great distance rather than two sound sorces at near range to the two hydrophones.

This is not a likely event , but the hydrophones are almost always on rare events are inevitable .



www.debategate.com

Anonymous said...

._. the bloop gonna kill us Q,Q

Anonymous said...

Of course it's not an alien, the term alien means a living organism from another planet.

Anonymous said...

I love how one of the first things the author says is to claim NOAA's an intelligence front for the US Military. Right.

Anonymous said...

The bloop could be the creatures final cries. Seeing as how we have not heard the noise in over a decade and thinking about how much food it would take to sustain even just a few creatures that size its not unlikely that the last of them are extinct. if they are though i think we will find evidence of their existence at some point.

Anonymous said...

It's mermaids. No shit

Anonymous said...

A fucking conspiracy theory where the author cannot even spell government. That's new.

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