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Researchers say spooky Mariana Trench noise may be whales on Great Barrier Reef

The Mariana Trench is one of the deepest parts of the Earth. A strange noise emanated from the trench have been puzzling scientists who were not able to pinpoint the source of the sound. Lasting between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds, the calls which consist of deep moans with frequencies as low as 38 Hertz and high-frequency of 8,000 hertz. The sounds were recorded and analyzed by researchers at the Oregon State University in the US who named it “Western Pacific Bio twang.”

Sharon Nieukirk, a research assistant at Oregon State, called the sounds very crazy and distinct. The low-frequency moans are typical of baleen whales which had its distinct twang like quality.

The noises were recorded using ocean gliders with passive acoustic sensitive instruments. These gliders can travel independently for months and can dive up to 1000 meters. The noises were quite akin to the sound produced by dwarf minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast of Australia, researchers said.

The Mariana Trench is said to be one of the deepest known parts of the Earth’s ocean and is situated between Japan to the North and Australia towards the south. Minke whales are mammals who feed using baleen plates in their mouth which filter out krill and small fish which live in the ocean. It produces a series or regionally specific calls besides the “Star Wars” call and the “boings” in North Pacific.

Not much is known about the habits and distribution of Mink Whale in the lower hemispheres. It is one of the smallest baleen whales and remains mostly submerged and rarely comes to the surface to breathe, making it difficult to be sighted.

However, there are many other questions which need to be answered, like the calls are heard only during winter and are often related to mating. The Pacific Bio twang can be heard all through the year. If it is a mating call why do we hear it all year?