Two things are certain about the extreme depths of the Earth’s oceans. The first is that we don’t know as much as we should about them and the second is that somewhere down there is a colony of massive hell-monsters whose one and only goal in life is to find Japan and then smash it up a bit.
Cinema’s obsession with massive homicidal creatures from the deep is an ongoing one and the reason behind such fascination is obvious; some of the weird creatures we’ve dredged up from ocean trenches seem so intrinsically alien that it’s only logical to fear their massive, steroid-munching older siblings coming after us as vengeance for our sushi fixation. Couple that with the occasional globster washing up and injecting a little horrifying, mouldy reality into the theory of it all and suddenly you’ve got a solid basis for some serious box office gold.
Naturally it all sounds like hysterical Hollywood speculation, until you factor in the possibility that in 1997 we may have heard one of the fucking things.
The threat of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War felt like a very real one to the American navy and quite understandably, the last thing they wanted was a sneaky little pinko submarine creeping up on them and turning New York into little more than a fiery memory. The solution to that was an underwater array of hydrophones listening out for the devious little bastards in a zone known as the deep sound channel – the section of the sea where extreme cold and high pressure allows sound waves to travel, in scientific terms, really bastard far.
Thankfully, eventually America and the Reds decided that annihilating everyone on the planet probably wasn’t in humanity’s best interests and the need for the SOSUS array dwindled. Rather than mothballing the project the whole thing was handed over to science and has since been used to monitor all sorts of cool stuff like whale migrations and ice fracturing in the Antarctic. Oh, and in 1997, Cthulu rousing from his watery slumber.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration detected the Bloop several times over the summer of 1997 and it’s fair to say that at first, it put the willies up them a bit. Dr Fox at the NOAA was so convinced that the Bloop matched the frequency patterns and variations of mammal sounds like whale calls that he was a little spooked and changed vocations entirely, going on to work at Radio 1, where he made a lucrative living as an entirely insufferable prick.
Of course, the array picking up whale sounds wouldn’t have been that rare an occurrence. What was rare was that the Bloop was detected on so many sensors, some of them up to 4,800km apart. For the Bloop to be animal-made in origin and also make logical sense, this meant that whatever animal made it had to have noise-making apparatus several times larger than that of a blue whale. Y’know, the blue whale, the biggest animal that’s ever fucking lived.
Speculation over the origin of the Bloop continued for two decades, until the NOAA listened to some similar events and concluded in 2008 that despite the uncanny similarities to whale sounds, the Bloop was “consistent with icequakes generated by large icebergs as they crack and fracture.”
Of course, the joy of cryptozoology is that it’s far more fun to speculate wildly than it is to listen to the logical explanation, so they’re probably just lying to us all.