Science

Scientists Capture Mysterious Sounds Permanently Produced by Earth

Scientists Capture Mysterious Sounds Permanently Produced by Earth”

The first attempt to detect this hum was made in 1959, but it wasn't until 1998 that scientists had conclusive proof it exists. The scientists then discovered that the hum of the Earth's oscillations peaks at frequencies of between 2.9 and 4.5 millihertz, which is around 10,000 times below what the human ear can possibly hear, which is 20 hertz.

Now, for the first time, scientists have been able to record our planet's hum from the bottom of the ocean.

Dr Glen MacPherson says that more than 10,000 people have now reported weird hums on his website, 'The Hum', with reports stretching back as far as the 1960s.

If you're sitting at home trying to listen to the Earth's hum, although it's constant, you won't be able to hear it. Although we can imagine at any point Earth will be coming into labour whatever the cause of the hum is, scientists believe understanding it will allow them to really understand what is happening below the surface.

It still remains unclear what causes the hum. For some people, it is a deep and distant droning bass tone.

"The sound is louder indoors than outdoors, and louder late at night than during the afternoon".

"People of all ages can be affected, although the incidence among children is very low".

The project to measure the hum began with 57 seismometers dropped over a four million square kilometre area of the Indian Ocean, and recorded from late 2012 to late 2013.

Martha Deen, a geophysicist at the Paris Institute of Earth Physics in Paris and lead author of the study said. They came up with a way to analyse the data that removed potential confounding factors from the tides and the currents, resulting in a clearer recording of the hum.

By cross-referencing what was left with measurements from terrestrial stations, the team realised the signal that remained was the hum.

A longstanding hypothesis is that Earth's free oscillations are caused by the constant pounding of waves on the ocean floor, and there have been a number of studies demonstrating just how this could be the case.

Other studies have suggested the noise is the result of atmospheric turbulence, as it is stronger in the northern hemisphere's Pacific Ocean during the northern winter, and southern oceans during the southern hemisphere's winter.

The researchers found the noise is nearly 10,000 times below the 20 hertz threshold of human hearing.

The effect of atmospheric turbulence, they concluded, could only explain part of the vibration. In the new study, researchers have captured the hum from deep inside the ocean, which is undoubtedly a milestone achievement. Researchers can use the findings to map the interior of Earth with more detail and accuracy and the recording could provide new insights into the source of the vibration.



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