Mysterious Sound Recorded in Mariana Trench Believed to be from Minke Whales

A bizarre sound in a Mariana Trench important for a complexity expected represents a find of a new minke whale call, says a group of sea researchers from Cornell University and Oregon State University.

Minke whale. Image credit: Len Joh / CC BY-ND 2.0.

Minke whale. Image credit: Len Joh / CC BY-ND 2.0.

Dubbed a ‘Western Pacific Biotwang,’ this call is a theme of a recently published paper in a Journal of a Acoustical Society of America.

Lasting between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds, a five-part call includes low moans during frequencies as low as 38 Hz and a lead culmination that pushes as high as 8,000 Hz.

“It’s unequivocally distinct, with all these crazy parts. The low-frequency groan partial is standard of baleen whales, and it’s that kind of twangy sound that creates it unequivocally unique. We don’t find many new baleen whale calls,” pronounced investigate lead author Dr. Sharon Nieukirk, a researcher in a Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies during Oregon State University.

The new call was available around pacifist acoustic sea gliders in an area easterly of Guam.

“In tumble 2014 and open 2015, pacifist acoustic information were collected around unconstrained gliders easterly of Guam in an area that enclosed a Mariana Trench Marine National Monument,” a researchers said.

“A short, formidable sound was available that facilities a 38 Hz blubber with both harmonics and width modulation, followed by broad-frequency metallic-sounding sweeps adult to 7.5 kHz.”

“This sound was available frequently during both tumble and open surveys.”

The Western Pacific Biotwang many closely resembles a supposed ‘Star Wars’ sound constructed by dwarf minke whales on a Great Barrier Reef off a northeast seashore of Australia.

The formidable structure of a sound, a magnitude sweep, and a lead inlet of a final partial of this call are all unequivocally identical to characteristics of Star Wars calls.

“The Western Pacific Biotwang has adequate similarities to a Star Wars call – formidable structure, magnitude brush and lead end – that it’s reasonable to consider a minke whale is obliged for it,” Dr. Nieukirk said.

“Minke whales are baleen whales – definition they feed by regulating baleen plates in their mouths to filter krill and tiny fish from seawater – and live in many oceans,” a scientists said.

“They furnish a collection of regionally specific calls, that in further to a Star Wars call embody ‘boings’ in a North Pacific and low-frequency beat trains in a Atlantic.”

“The class is a smallest of a baleen whales, doesn’t spend most time during a surface, has an rare blow, and mostly lives in areas where high seas make sighting difficult. But they call frequently, creation them good possibilities for acoustic studies.”

Baleen whale calls are mostly associated to mating and listened especially during a winter, nonetheless a Western Pacific Biotwang was available via a year.

“If it’s a mating call, because are we removing it year round? That’s a mystery,” Dr. Nieukirk said.

“We need to establish how mostly a call occurs in summer contra winter, and how widely this call is unequivocally distributed.”


Sharon L. Nieukirk et al. 2016. A formidable baleen whale call available in a Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. Journal of a Acoustical Society of America 140 (3); doi: 10.1121/1.4962377