If you've ever sat around wishing you could hear what the deepest parts of the ocean sound like, then your strange but valid desires can finally be satisfied! Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Oregon State University, and the US Coast Guard have captured recordings from the bottom of the Mariana Trench and posted them online for all to hear.
To capture the haunting and mysterious sounds of the seafloor, researchers parked a ship seven miles above the Challenger Deep trough in the Mariana Trench, located close to Micronesia. There they placed a "titanium-encased hydrophone" into the water and let it sink over 36,000 feet to the bottom. The hydrophone hung out there for 23 days in July 2015, recording the sounds of the world's deepest crevasse. It then spent another four months waiting around, because typhoons and ship schedules delayed its pick-up. When researchers finally yanked the hydrophone back above the waves, they discovered a tape far noisier than they'd expected.
"There's almost constant noise," Robert Dziak, a NOAA research oceanographer and the chief project scientist said in a press release. "The ambient sound field is dominated by the sound of earthquakes, both near and far, as well as distinct moans of baleen whales, and the clamor of a category 4 typhoon that just happened to pass overhead."
So, what does it sound like? The Atlantic's CityLab blog posted some of the NOAA's recordings on SoundCloud. In this one, you'll hear the moan of a very depressed-sounding baleen whale.
And here are some more baleen whales followed by the rumbling of an earthquake toward the end the clip, which sounds like a plane is flying overhead. Ambient music makers, get busy with these samples.