By Deane Barker on September 23, 2005

Bloop: Since 1997, Navy sonar equipment has occasionally picked up a sound they think is coming from the South Pacific, about 1,000 miles off the coast of South America.

They don’t know what it is, but they think it’s alive.

The sound, detected by the Equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array which uses U.S. Navy equipment originally designed to detect Soviet submarines, matches the audio profile of a living creature. There is no known animal that could have produced the sound, however, and if it is an animal it would have to be huge: much larger than even a whale according to scientists who have studied the phenomenon.

Some postulate that the sound may come from a huge and as-yet undiscovered species of octopus or squid. Others dispute this, pointing out that no known species of cephalopod have the physiology that would allow this type of sound to be produced. To date there has been no explanation for what it is, exactly, that could have produced the sound and most seem unwilling to rule anything completely out.

This comes indirectly via Kottke, by way of this Wikipedia entry.



  1. At a guess, I’d say this is the sound of George W. Bush’s Hurricane Machine ™ pumping methane into the world’s oceans.

    But I’ve been wrong before.

  2. I have been a Sonar Tech for 4 years onboard a nuclear Trident submarine, and there were sounds that we encountered while we were running deep often. These were, as i was told; animals (fish or whales, who knows) that no one has seen, but the sound profile fit the profile of what was expected to be a fish.

    one of these phenomanah (sorry about my spelling) was called a “bowing fish”.

    you may e mail me if you have any more questions about this, my e mail addy is

  3. Thanks for correcting me, im glad they at least found out what it was. now if i remember also, there were other anomalys that we heard while we were on patrol, the names have escaped me lol i think it was the radiation on the sub that killed my braincells lol

    oh, our boingfish story has gotten some attention, i was in contact with a Jill COLEY from the Beaufort Gazette, she did a column about the boingfish (sorry i spelled it wrong the other day) and published it. She couldnt quote me or anything, cus i couldnt produce a military ID (i had to give mine back when i was done with my contract) well anyways,, it is in the Sunday October 16th section C in there paper if anyone is interested.

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