Space & Innovation

Listen to the Sounds at the Deepest Part of the Ocean

Capturing the eerie sounds at 36,000 feet below the ocean surface

Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oregon State University, and the U.S. Coast Guard collaborated last year on a massive research project. They wanted to send an unmanned hydrophone down to the deepest known parts of the ocean and listen. At 36,000 feet (11 km), the titanium-encased hydrophone descended to the Challenger Deep, an area in the Mariana Trench near Micronesia. As you might expect, the pressure at that level is extreme--16,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). To put that in perspective, a typical home's pressure is 14.7 PSI, according to the NOAA.

Watch More: How Our Ocean Obsession Led to a One-Man Submarine

So, what did they hear? The team was surprised at all the sounds the hydrophone picked up. It was able to detect the noise of a Category 4 typhoon passing over the ocean's surface. It was also able to pick up sounds triggered by earthquakes and the calls of balleen whales. Gizmodo posted a few of the recordings, including these:

Listen to a magnitude 5 earthquake rumble nearby:

Listen to a balleen whale just before and after the earthquake.