Do You Hear That? The World’s Unexplained Noises
For much of modern society, scientists have traveled down the path of the unknown, systematically explaining the previously unexplainable. Gravity, the Northern Lights, and the Human Genome are a few examples of history’s greatest mysteries that remain unsolved. Having said that, there remain a number of unexplained phenomena that remain elusive.
Today, we’re going to focus on sounds. Hums, bloops, shrieks, beeps, and waves that — for one reason or another — pose no clear origin. Could these sounds be proof of extra-terrestrial life? Could they be products of an alternate dimension? Or, maybe, the following sounds have a perfectly reasonable explanation that scientists haven’t discovered yet because they’ve been too busy perfecting the seedless cantaloupe?
Whatever the reason, what follows is a comprehensive list of the noises of no known origin. Spoooooky.
The Colossi of Memnon
Built in 14th century B.C.E. as a temple for the Egyptian Ruler Amenhotep III, Egypt’s Colossi of Memnon differed from most Egyptian statues for a very peculiar reason. Legend has it that the ancient statue would let out a high-pitched sound during the dawn of a new day. They called it the song of the Colossi of Memnon and the sound baffled scientists for generations.
The peculiar sound seemed to have started after an earthquake destroyed part of the statue in 27 B.C.E. The statue went on singing until the Roman emperor Septimius repaired the earthquake damage and silenced the stature for good.
The scientists of today believe that the fabled song was caused by a combination of earthquake damage, heat, and humidity. But, thanks to busy-body Septimius, we’ll never truly know for sure.
The One World Trade Centre
In the years that followed the horrific New York terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, the powers that be in NYC set their sights on rebuilding. Sort of. Instead of dusting off the original blueprints for the Twin Towers, they opted for something new.
The result was the One World Trade Center. The building’s construction acted as a strong condemnation from the citizens of New York to those that seek to destroy it. End of story, right? Well, not really.
It wasn’t long before New Yorkers began noticing a ghostly sound emanating from the brand-new building. While most believe that the eerie sound is caused by the wind, others boldly claim a more other-worldly cause.
The curious case of the 52-hertz whale is different than the other unexplained noises because, well… we know that the sound comes from a whale. The 52-hertz whale sound is certainly strange though. The whale’s uniqueness is two-fold. For starters, let’s take a look at the sound itself.
Whales vocalize during mating season. It’s a common way for males to find mates. The thing is most whales communicate in the 15-to-25-hertz vocal range. This whale, for whatever reason, communicates at 52-hertz. A completely alien frequency for most whales. Leading many to suggest that — due to the whale’s odd communication attempts — it’s effectively mute.
What’s stranger is that scientists have yet to actually find the whale. We don’t even know what this unique whale looks like!
The Taos Hum
One of North America’s greatest audio-oddities resides in the town of Taos, New Mexico. The Taos Hum, as journalists have often dubbed it, has been widely reported and extensively investigated. However, there remains very little insight into its existence or origin.
Roughly two percent of the town’s population has gone onto report the existence of a seemingly imperceptible hum. Some describe it as a whirr, others a buzz, many a hum. But, in spite of countless man-hours of research and expensive scientific sensing equipment, the people of Taos have yet to find any semblance of an answer.
To this day, science has to even prove the existence of a hum in Taos, let alone isolate the source of the sound.
UVB-76 is different than our previously analyzed sounds in that it isn’t naturally occurring. UVB-76, a.k.a. “The Buzzer”, is a shortwave radio station that can be found on the 4625 kHz frequency. The radio station was first reported back in 1983 and its broadcasts have been baffling amateur Internet sleuths ever since.
The popular head scratcher began as amateur short-wave radio junkies happened on the station. The broadcast alternates between consistent buzzing sounds and cryptic Russian commands. The station has no known origin, leading many to believe that it is a product of Russian covert ops.
Though triangulation has given rise to three possible locations, the location and precise details of the broadcasts remain shrouded in mystery. Here’s hoping that one day, the UVB-76 conundrum will be solved once and for all.
1969 was a big deal here on Earth, but it was an equally big deal in outer space too. The Apollo 10 astronauts were in the midst of a test-run, orbiting the moon in preparation for Apollo 11’s eventual moon landing. Apollo 10’s orbit took the astronauts to the dark side of the moon and out of direct radio contact with Earth. What they heard through their headsets during that time still, to this very day, baffles the NASA brain trust.
The mysterious sound and the relevant conversation were recorded and saved for posterity. The astronauts distinctly heard “music” ringing through their headphones. The music, as they called it, was odd, persistent, and completely untraceable.
To this day, nobody has offered up a reasonable explanation.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no! It’s a… skyquake?
A skyquake is a general term for a rare phenomenon that causes unnatural and loud noises emanating from the sky. These exceptionally loud occurrences have been reported throughout history and across national lines.
A typical skyquake will begin with the sky taking on a strange hue, followed by a loud, unexplainable noise. Evidence suggests that skyquakes typically occur around coastal areas, but that’s pretty much all we know. Some suggest that the large explosions are simply the Earth passing gas. A likely explanation, but as it stands today, the claim remains unverified.
This strange sound has been happening amongst the depths, and across all corners, of the Pacific Ocean since as far back as 1991. The sound is often referred to as the Upsweep and is described by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as consisting “of a long train of narrow-band upsweeping sounds of several seconds duration each.”
The sound was heard across the entire Pacific, ruling out smaller, localized sources entirely. That’s about as much as science is able to say conclusively about the Upsweep phenomenon. There are a few prevailing theories though. Some believe that the sound has something to do with underwater volcanic activity. Some believe that it’s proof of the existence of a massive, unknown species of sea creature.
All we know for sure is that, even with all of our fancy gizmos and devices, science still has quite a bit to learn.
Another commonly referenced, yet-to-be-identified sound from the deep comes by way of the Caribbean Sea. The following sound was recorded on July 7, 1997, and left researchers with more questions than answers.
Many in the scientific community believe that the striking whistling sound was caused by an erupting submarine arc volcano. After all, the sound sure does sound familiar to scientists studying the common underwater eruptions. Having said that, the research is inconclusive.
The sound was only recorded on one hydrophone. Unfortunately, locating the origin of sounds in the ocean requires three separate recordings. The volcanic-eruption theory may be correct, but there’s no evidence. As such, I’ll just go on believing that it’s a deep-sea monster.
Electronic Voice Phenomenon
Last, but certainly not least, is the seemingly paranormal electronic voice phenomena (EVP). EVP are sounds found on electronic recordings that are frequently interpreted as the voices of spirits.
Ever hear a strange voice when listening to radio static or white noise? That’s EVP. Some believe that it’s a way in which the dead have learned to communicate with the living. Some believe that it is the result of demons set out to attain the lofty goal of stealing our souls. While others still, namely the scientists, believe that EVP is a long-enduring hoax or a product of the listener’s subconscious.
So, next time you’re listening to a de-tuned radio, don’t forget to say “Hi” to the next dimension.