It was a very mysterious phenomenon that had deeply troubled scientists for decades, a mysterious under sea noise that sounded like a quack and it was heard each and every winter and spring in the murky depths of the Southern Ocean. In fact it came to be known as “quacking” because it sounded like a duck. However now researcher think they finally have discovered the source of the bizarre sound. They state that the unique noise is made by the underwater chatter of the Minke whales of the Antarctic.
According to research done, scientists decided to attach microphones to a couple of the nautical animals and then noticed that they were creating the strange quacking sounds back and forth to one another. This odd noise was first discovered by submarines back in the early 1960’s and since that time; the monotonous, low frequency sound had been documented countless times in the unmapped waters surrounding Western Australia and the Antarctic
In the beginning, researchers thought the sound was possibly coming from other submarines. There were other theories as well which included fish, dolphins and ships, but none of them ever delivered any type of definite evidence up until the present time.
Denise Risch, who works as a chief scientist for the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, explained that through the decades there have been numerous theories about what the noise was, but no-one has ever been able to really figure out for sure that the Minke whales were the one behind making the odd sound until this time.
Researchers are not sure why the Minke whales make such a quacking noise, but it is thought to be some sort of communication between the animals. The research group is hoping that this discovery of the origin of the sound will permit them to study more about the whales, which have seldom been looked at.
Dr. Risch stated that by being able to identify the whales’ communication sounds that would help permit scientists to use submissive audio monitoring in order to better study this specific whale class. She added the sounds could possibly give the researchers a better scheduling plan of when the whales migrate, basically the precise timing when the mammals first show up in the waters of the Antarctic and also when they leave. This will help scientist learn much about their migratory paths.
The extremely odd phenomenon known as “quacking” which had caused some scientists to have sleepless nights is no more. The mystery behind the strange under sea noise which sounded so much like the quack of a duck, and was heard each spring and winter in the murky depths of the Southern Ocean is believed to have finally been solved. Researchers think they finally have learned the source behind the peculiar sound and that it is produced by the underwater chatter of the Antarctic Minke whales.
Others types of whales have been found to communicate with each other, so it is only normal that the Minke would do the same with this quacking noise.
By Kimberly Ruble