The Earth's constant hum comes from the ocean floor

For more than fifty years, scientists have known that the Earth hums. We can't hear the sound as it's at a frequency 10,000 times lower than our hearing threshold but new research suggests that it's coming from the ocean floor. Scientists from the Paris Institute of Global Physics analyzed data from earthquake sensors on the Indian Ocean floor and found the familiar and constant oscillations of between 2.9 and 4.5 millihertz. From National Geographic:

"To better understand where the signal comes from, we believe that observing oscillations from the ocean bottom can help," says co-author Martha Deen...

Since early observations, a number of studies have hypothesized that the Earth's free oscillations are a side-effect of the pounding of ocean waves. Other research suggests the hum could originate from atmospheric turbulence, or the wind motions around the globe, cued by storms. The current study says turbulence could account for part of the vibration, leading the rest to be fueled by ocean waves...

By studying the Earth's hum signal from ocean-bottom stations, scientists can map out a detailed landscape of the Earth's interior. Currently, they can only look at the inside of the planet during earthquakes, which limits studies to certain times and areas. And when looking at seismic activity from land monitors, researchers can't chart places far removed from islands and land masses. But the hum signal, droning and constant, can be detected across the world.

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Watch a freak wave launch a body boarder 20 feet into the air

Jack Baker was bodyboarding at Sydney Australia's Cape Solander when a big backwash wave launched him into the sky. Fortunately, he suffered only from a burst lung and is now recovering.

"I even said to the photographer who was in the water: 'this backwash is going to kill someone.' As this wave came towards me, I took off and as I got in it was real deep, I was already going too fast, I attempted to eject hoping it would send me back through the wave," he told SurferToday.

"Instead of ejecting, I got smashed by the wave, and suddenly I was in the air just falling. I had already got kicked about so hard in the waves so as I came back down I was dizzy and I didn’t know whether I was in the water or up in the air. But when I hit the water that woke me up."

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Alessandro Puccinelli's 'Intersections,' where violent seas and skies collide

Photographer Alessandro Puccinelli is mesmerized by powerful waves. His photo series Intersections captures the fleeting moment when the ocean and the clouds appear to become one. Read the rest

Watch ocean wave images turned into hypnotic animations

Cinemagraphs turn still photographs into moving images. Armand Dijcks has taken the gorgeous wave photography of Ray Collins (previously) and turned them into hypnotic slow-mo animations. Read the rest

Watch the most intense surfing wipeout you've ever seen

Last week, professional surfer Tom Dosland fell 40-feet down the front of a wave at Jaws, Maui's legendary surfing break. See the intensity of it all in the video above. Surfer magazine interviewed Dosland about the day:

Before this wave, I had paddled for a few and pulled back because it wasn’t quite lining up right. But when this wave came toward me, I was totally committed. It looked like a sea monster rising out of the ocean when it came my way. But I was going. No matter what. So I flipped around and started paddling to get into it. You can’t really tell from the video, but there was some wind blowing spray up the face as I was about to drop in, which pretty much blinded me for a few seconds. I could only see out of one eye, and only partially. So I was pretty much just going off of feeling for that brief second before you drop in. Then, I was able to open up both my eyes, and I realized what was about to happen.

That’s crazy you couldn’t see. Can you walk me through what happened next?

Once I started to drop in and could open both my eyes, I instantly realized that this wasn’t going to end well for me. So I sort of hit the eject button hoping to make the best of it and penetrate. I was free-falling for a while. It felt like I jumped off a cliff. That’s when my leash stretched out all the way and flipped me over head-first.

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