We've brought you many news stories about towns all over theworld where some people are being made ill by a mysteriouslow humming sound. Now it turns out that the Earth itself ishumming?could this be what they're hearing?
Jenny Hogan writes in New Scientist that a humming soundmade by the Earth may be caused by the planet's oceans.Japanese seismologists first described this hum signal in1998. It is a deep, low-frequency rumble that is present inthe ground even when there are no earthquakes.
"People aren't usually that interested in looking at thenoise, they want to get rid of it," says geologist BarbaraRomanowicz. "From the beginning, I had a hunch that theoceans might be involved, but then I had to prove it somehow."
Like the hums heard everywhere, the Earth hum has afrequency below the limits of human hearing. Some peoplenotice it while others are oblivious to it.
Romanowicz, who was able to trace the hum back to itssource, discovered that during January and March, it camemainly from the North Pacific Ocean. Then the sourceswitched to the southern oceans above Antarctica, beforeshifting north again in October. The hum appears to followwinter in each hemisphere, when ocean storms are at theirworst. That may be why it's heard in some areas at certaintimes, and not in others. She plans to use computer modelsto work out exactly how water sloshing around in the oceanbasins can transfer its energy to Earth to create the sound.
In this week'sDreamland,you'll hear more than a hum. You'll learn what ETS aresaying to LisetteLarkins. And subscribers: Lisette tells you secrets abouthow to make contact. She?s never been more plain spoken thatshe is here!
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