What’s Making Duck Sounds in the Ocean? Mystery Solved
Sonar has detected these strange sounds since the 1960s, but no one knew the source of the noise- until now.
It may sound quacky, but mysterious duck-like sounds in the oceans are made by whales, a new study says.
Scientists have been trying to decode the perplexing low-frequency sounds, which occur every winter in the Southern Hemisphere in the ocean around Antarctica, since sonar began detecting them in the 1960s.
“’Bio-duck’ was actually a fitting description for the sound. It really does sound a lot like a duck,” said study leader Denise Risch, a marine acoustic specialist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. (Listen to the bio-duck sounds.)
The noise was so deep and repeated so regularly that at first, researchers weren’t even sure that a living creature could be producing the noise.