Check out these top unexplained mysteries of the deep ocean. From strange sounds captured in the deep sea by hydrophones such as the bloop, the train, and julia, to gigantic whirlpools, biggest underwater falls and the milky bioluminescent sea phenomenon. Are deep sea monsters living deep in the ocean?
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9. Underwater Falls
Voted one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. On the Southwestern tip of the island you will find a fascinating illusion. When viewed from above, a runoff of sand and silt deposits creates the impression of an ‘underwater waterfall’.
But did you know there are actually real underwater waterfalls? Seven waterfalls have been discovered deep underwater. The tallest waterfall on Earth is not Angel Falls, but an underwater waterfall called Denmark Strait Cataract located in the Atlantic ocean between Greenland and Iceland. It is the world’s highest underwater waterfall, with water falling almost 11,500 feet and carries 175 million cubic feet of water per second.
It is caused due to temperature differences in the water on either side of the strait. Cold water is denser than warm water. And the eastern side of the strait is a lot colder than the western side. So when the waters meet, the cold water sinks below the warmer water, creating a strong downward flow, which is considered a waterfall.
And it’s not just waterfalls that are under the ocean. There are huge secret rivers, complete with rapids and islands that flow down the sea shelves out into the desert plains creating river banks and flood plains. Here’s a picture of the river Cenote Angelita under the sea of Mexico.
These salty rivers carry sediments and minerals and could be vital in sustaining life. The world’s sixth largest river, by volume, is below the Black Sea. It is 350 times larger than the Thames and 150 feet deep in places.
8. Milky Sea Phenomenon
For over 400 years, sailors told tales of a mysterious event that takes place far out in the Indian Ocean. They would come across miles and miles of milky glowing waters, sometimes stretching as far as the eye could see. In 2005, a group of scientists led by Dr. Steven Miller of the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, Calif., decided to take a closer look at this story to see if it was true. They managed to register about 235 observations and get a satellite image that showed an area of low lighting in the Indian Ocean about the size of Connecticut. Their samples that they collected indicated the presence of a type of bioluminescent bacteria in the water, known as Vibrio harveyi. This isn’t the same kind of bacteria that you might see in waves that use their bright light to ward off predators. This bioluminescent bacteria may actually use light to attract fish, since its favorite place to live is inside a fish’s gut. Scientists’ guess is that since they only emit a very faint light on their own, they have to gather together to make an impact. Their collective glow can grow to massive, milky sea proportions when their numbers swell to a huge amount — think 40 billion trillion. They may also congregate to colonize algae. Sounds like a party! It is still only a guess since Dr. Miller and his colleagues haven’t determined exactly what causes the bacteria to gather.
7. Unexplained sounds
Of course dark, creepy fog can make you jump at anything that goes bump in the night. But what about things that go “bloop” in the sea? With names like “The Bloop,” “Train” and “Julia,” the sounds have been captured by hydrophones, or underwater microphones, monitored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The decidedly nonspooky nicknames for these sounds do little to dispel the mystery surrounding them. In 1997, NOAA hydrophones 3,000 miles apart picked up one of the loudest sounds ever recorded off the southern coast of South America: the Bloop (which sounds exactly like its name, a bloop). The Bloop mimics marine animal sounds in some ways, but if it were some kind of sea creature it would have to be almost the size of the Eiffel tower for that sound to be heard from 3,000 miles away. So what made the sound? It’s anyone’s guess but deep-sea monsters aside, NOAA holds the most likely explanation for The Bloop is that it was the sound of a large iceberg fracturing. Sure….
Another weird noise known as Julia sounds almost like someone whining or maybe even singing under water. The eastern equatorial Pacific autonomous array (the fancy name for the network of hydrophones) picked up this strange sound that lasted 15 seconds in 1999.