Cutting edge recording technology has opened up a whole universe of sound beneath the ocean.
Ever wondered what a massive underwater volcanic explosion sounds like? What about the noise made by mega icebergs that collide and grind as they move against the Antarctic continental shelf? For years these massive geological events have gone undocumented and unheard, as they have occurred well below the depths of our oceans.
With the use of special underwater microphones called hydrophones, however, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are finally revealing these ethereal and otherworldly sounds. The hydrophones are encased in titanium to withstand the deep sea pressure. They are then attached to a remote-controlled vehicle that travels out to eruptions that are otherwise unreachable by man.
And, if that wasn’t cool enough, just wait until you hear the sounds that they’ve discovered. From the deep bass rumbles of underwater volcanoes, to the eerie, harmonic scrapes of icebergs on tectonic plate, the sounds seem to fit our ideas of cosmic ambience more than nautical noise. You can read further about the NOAA’s work with sound here. Below you can listen to two different exploding volcanoes plus a startling recording of an iceberg collision. Scroll further down for a short video explaining how a hydrophone works.