Humans are incredible pieces of work. Our ears are perceptive enough that they are capable of distinguishing variations in sound equivalent to less than one-billionth of atmospheric pressure. Our brains can identify and retain complex auditory patterns. What that basically means is that we can hear a sound and remember it, mentally organizing so that we can retain what that sound means to us. For example, as a small child grows they begin to understand between the sounds of their mother calling to them, as opposed to someone on the television calling out.
Over the generations, we've grown accustomed to certain sounds existing in nature and all around us. So that makes it all the more troubling when we hear a sound that we can’t identify. It’s even more worrying when others around us can’t explain a sound’s origin either. As we grow and understand more of the world around us, we can begin to learn more of these mysterious sounds and where they come from. At least that’s the hope.
What if some of these mysterious sounds are beyond our understanding? Did aliens try to send us a message in 1977, and we were just too ignorant to understand? Is there some immense, undersea creature roaming the deepest oceans of the world calling out and we just haven’t discovered it yet? Could mystifying radio signals be the work of spies, or could they have a more mundane explanation? We just don’t have the understanding yet be sure. Over the years, there have been many of these weird, unexplained sounds captured that have baffled those that heard them and indeed scientists worldwide. Let’s take a look at fifteen of the world’s most mysterious sounds that we have yet to identify.
15 The UVB-76 Buzzer
UVB-76 is the name used to refer to a mysterious shortwave radio station that has been broadcasting continuously since 1982. Using the frequency 4625 kHz, the station broadcasts short, monotonous buzz sounds at a rate of approximately 25 tones per minute, 24 hours a day. Occasionally, the buzzing stops and a voice can be heard, speaking in Russian, giving brief cryptic messages before the steady buzzing resumes once more. These voice messages have been transmitted only about three times in 1997, 2002, and then in 2006. They have mostly been numerical in nature, or a list of names, possibly call signs or some sort of station identification. UVB-76 was the common reference until 2010, when the station began to refer to itself as MDZhB, then in January 2016, the call sign changed once again to ZhUOZ.
14 52-Hertz Whale
For over twenty-five years, marine biologists have monitored a sound emanating from the North Pacific. The sound is similar to a whale’s call but at a much higher pitch of 52 hertz (Hz). Most whales sing at a frequency of 10-20 hertz (Hz). As a result, if this is a whale calling out, it is unlikely any whale will respond. Researchers have never heard a return response. They’ve dubbed the creature the “world’s loneliest whale.”
13 The Slow Down
Julia is the name given to a sound that was recorded on March 1, 1999, by NOAA. It is a strange whining sound that last for approximately 15 seconds. It was picked up on the equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array. The source of the sound is unknown, but it was loud enough to be heard throughout the array. This mysterious sound was limited in bandwidth. There is some ambiguity in the point of origin of the sound but it is believed to have originated from anywhere between Bransfield Strait and Cape Adare in Antarctica.
11 The Train
10 The Hum
Throughout the world, people have been hearing a strange hum; a relentless low frequency hum, about 56 Hz. It has been reported in places like New Mexico (the famous Taos Hum), Europe, and New Zealand. Not everyone can hear, but those who do describe it alike, saying it not unlike a diesel engine heard from a distance, getting louder when they are indoors, or at night, with vibrations that can be felt. It is irritating and persistent. Some hearers have been so distraught by the hum that it has caused insomnia, dizziness, irritability, anxiety, and in one case, suicide.
There called skyquakes, or more popularly known as mistpouffers. It’s a strange name that refers to a series of bizarre booms that have been heard in areas ranging from the Netherlands to Bangladesh, in Canada, Italy, Ireland, and Japan; pretty much all around the world, including the United States. They’ve been reported as far back as the 1850s. Early European settlers in North America heard the booms and were told by the native Iroquois that they were the sound of the Great Spirit. The term, “Mistpouffer,” actually originates from booms heard at Seneca Lake, New York. Author James Fenimore Cooper, who wrote The Last of the Mohicans, wrote The Lake Gun in 1850, where he described hearing the booms, sounding like artillery fire, at the lake. Cooper referred to the sounds as “Seneca guns,” or “Mistpoufffers.” The term stuck.
Beginning in the 1960s, Soviet submarines patrolling the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans began hearing strange sounds. They described it as an odd “quacking.” The sound was picked up whenever the subs would enter certain areas and their instruments seemed to indicate its source was a moving underwater object; however, nothing ever registered on sonar. This phenomenon was heard at frequencies from 50 to 300 Hz, usually lasting between one and three seconds. At first, the Soviets believed it must be some secret American technology. They soon began to think it was of biological origin, possibly a giant squid, which lacks a rigid skeleton possibly allowing it to remain hidden on sonar. Strengthening this theory was the fact that the sound would react to the submarines, actively avoiding them, moving around and even circling them.
If you don’t believe in ghosts, don’t laugh! Have you heard these eerie recordings before? There is definitely something being recorded. EVP’s, or electronic voice phenomenon, is the paranormal term for capturing a disembodied voice on an audio, or digital, recording. Paranormal investigators claim these are the voices of the spirit realm. These voices aren’t heard during the time of the recording and are only discovered when the recording is played back. These EVP’s vary with some being single words, others being phrases or sentences. Still others could be entire conversations with multiple voices being recorded at once.
6 The Unknown Howl
5 The Upsweep
Captured on the NOAA’s equatorial autonomous hydrophone arrays, the Upsweep, as it’s been called, consists of a long series of narrow-band upsweeping sounds, lasting several seconds each. The sound was immediately present when the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) began recording with their sound surveillance system (SOSUS) in August 1991. The sound level was high enough for it to be recorded throughout the Pacific Ocean. The sound does appear to be seasonal, commonly peaking in the spring and fall; however, it is not clear if this pattern is due to changes in the originating source or seasonal changes in its environment.
4 The Whistle
3 The Trumpet
The Trumpet is a disturbing trumpet-like sound that is being heard in spots across the globe. Recordings have been made of the scary sound in British Columbia, Texas, Norway, and in Australia. Sometimes the exact sound is varied, sounding more like the moan of some unknown animal, while other times it more consistent with a low-pitched rumble, a whine, or even a thumping. One thing is for certain, when people hear it they are chilled and most people stand still transfixed in place. So far, no satisfactory explanation has been uncovered.
2 The Bloop
The Bloop is one of the most fascinating unexplained sounds to have ever been reported. On several occasions in 1997, this sound could be heard reverberating throughout the Pacific Ocean. The sound rises rapidly in frequency over a period of one minute and was so loud that is was picked up by multiple sensors that were located 5,000 km apart. These underwater hydrophones were placed in an area known as the “deep sound channel,” during the Cold War to detect and track Soviet Submarines. Now the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use them to monitor deep see phenomena. When sped up sixteen times it sounds like its name, “bloop.” The source was roughly triangulated to coordinates: 50°S 100°W, in the South Pacific Ocean, west of the southern tip of South America.
1 The “Wow!” Signal
It remains the strongest evidence to date of extraterrestrial life and it was recorded one August night in 1977. Jerry Ehman, volunteering for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), was scanning radio waves from deep space in hopes of finding that one signal that establishes an intelligent alien civilization exists. He was using the Big Ear telescope of the Ohio State University. Suddenly, Ehman picked recorded a huge spike in activity with a strong narrow-band signal, lasting 72 seconds. Ehman wrote “Wow!” in the margin of the printout. The alphanumerical scale to register such signals ranges from 1 to 9, then A to Z, with most radio waves registering just 1’s and 2’s. However, this signal had a sequence of “6EQUJ5;” very strong indeed!
The signal was on just the right frequency that it would easily be differentiated from background noise, and matched the signature of an extraterrestrial signal on exactly the frequency we would use to send a similar signal out into space. He tracked the signal and found it originated from near a star called Tau Sagittarii, 120 light years away. This incredible signal was only picked up by two of the Big Ear’s detectors and all attempts to find the signal again have failed. All rational explanations given by sceptics have been proven incorrect, from space debris colliding with each other to errant satellite transmissions. The “Wow!” Signal is still the only confirmed sound received from deep space that could possibly have originated from an unknown alien civilization.
Sources: wired.com, mentalfloss.com, pmel.noaa.gov, huffingtonpost.com, strangesounds.org.
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