Mystery of the deep-sea BLOOP solved

Remember the deep-sea "bloop" noise that some people thought might be coming from a giant squid? Turns out it's an icequake. (Here's a WAV of it)

The broad spectrum sounds recorded in the summer of 1997 are consistent with icequakes generated by large icebergs as they crack and fracture. NOAA hydrophones deployed in the Scotia Sea detected numerous icequakes with spectrograms very similar to “Bloop”. The icequakes were used to acoustically track iceberg A53a as it disintegrated near South Georgia Island in early 2008. Icequakes are of sufficient amplitude to be detected on multiple sensors at a range of over 5000 km. Based on the arrival azimuth, the iceberg(s) generating “Bloop” most likely were between Bransfield Straits and the Ross Sea, or possibly at Cape Adare, a well know source of cryogenic signals.

Icequakes (Bloop) [NOAA] (via Hacker News)


  1. But… the aliens, Atlantis, the sea monsters… What are we supposed to do now with our conspiracy theories?!
    Ice is not cool*!

    *Ok, maybe cool to the touch but not cool cool.

    1. Oh well, there’s always Tila Tequila videos on YouTube to keep the fire alive.

      Ice is not cool*!

      *Ok, maybe cool to the touch but not cool cool.

      Really?  Last I noticed, ice was still too cool for school.

  2. Bittersweet.  On the one hand, a very intriguing question has been solved.  But on the other – every few years I bumped into the BLOOP audio file and was fascinated all over again, but now that we know what it is, the element of mystery has gone from BLOOP  to POOF!

    1.  I felt the same. And then I went “damn ice, u scary.” It makes the weirdest noises, and I am both happy with, and terrified by, the science that brought me this knowledge that I can never unlearn. Even if I may want to.

      1. I seem to remember reading about when North Pole explorers camp for the night and lay on their side, one ear is pressed to the icy ground, and all sorts of random, indescribable noises clang and rumble from below, in the distance.  Must be fascinating for a while, but then I’d probably have to lay face up to catch any sort of sleep.

  3. All other bloops and bleems are ball-lightening. The orb above your house – ball-lightening. The probe in your ahnoos – ball-lightening.

  4. I thought this was debunked as the researchers 5 year old son recording his farts in the bathtub…

  5. That’s what they want you to think.   It’s Hunt for Red October all over again, with a new, as yet unknown, propulsion system.

  6. ok – then WHY all the talk that it could only have been made from an organic (living) source – that has been the question all along. Consistent with  the vocalizations of whatever – whale-like but massive in size. Seems like the ice theory would have been put forth at the beginning (most probable theories first, right?), and why no repeats?

  7. p.s.  – i am a hopeful skeptic – but  have loved the idea of a Cthulhu bloop-monster! Bloop to poof is right!!!!!

  8. So wait.  Somebody dug up a fifteen year old tape of the ocean going bloop.  And they said it was an icequake bloop.  And this is headline news.

    1. The Bloop has been an open question in oceanography for more than 20 years. There are things at the edges of every scientific discipline that puzzle scientists, and they think about them in the back of their heads when they sleep at night…

      The Bloop (and other odd audio phenomena) have not had an adequate explanation for decades, so they nagged at the back of people’s brains.

      So yes, having a long-unexplained phenomenon finally explained is news.

  9. Some of you are making fun of this… but when the Sleeping Lord of Rlyeh finally wakes up, it AINT GONNA BE FUNNY…
    You have been warned

  10. It is the sound of the sleeping, flatulating Cthulhu.  If the sound doesn’t drive you mad, the smell will.

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