For those coming late to the story…
Uploaded on May 30, 2009
”The Bloop is the name given to an ultra-low frequency and extremely powerful underwater sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) several times during 1997. According to the NOAA description, it “rises rapidly in frequency over about one minute and was of sufficient amplitude to be heard on multiple sensors, at a range of over 5,000 km. The source of the sound remains unknown…”
”Scientists determined that its wave pattern indicates it was made by an animal, and not a giant electromagnet sucking a plane out of the sky, as the creators of Lost were no doubt hoping.”
Here is the “Bloop” as it is commonly presented.
While it may not sound like anything much more than what we all do in the tub from time to time, this particular bloop was heard by listening stations thousands of miles separated.
And when you compare it to the songs of humpback whales, it is only a natural assumption that the sound was generated by a living creature.
”While the audio profile of the bloop does resemble that of a living creature, the system identified it as unknown because it was far too loud for that to have been the case: it was several times louder than the loudest known biological sound.”
”There is no animal big enough or loud enough to make that kind of noise, not by a long shot. Not a blue whale, not a howler monkey, not a startled teenage girl.”
What could have possibly caused this sound?
Many people envision something along the lines of an unknown creature many times lager than the largest whales, from this rather benign, even potentially comical looking one…
Or for the Lovecraft fans, this…
And it does not help matters much that the sound was recorded not far (in global terms) from where Cthulhu’s undersea dwelling of R’lyeh happens to be as recorded by H.P. Lovecraft, and August Derleth.
But still, pretty far. The problem is that while the recording in the video above is how you typically hear the “bloop” when presented on the various Mystery and Unexplained type of television shows, it is a sped up version. Here is how the sound actually happened in real time.
Starts at approx. 00:54
And as near as the “bloop” is to R’lyeh, it also almost as close to Antarctica, and this is a sound consistent with what is called an Icequake as reported on Wired.Com
NOAA has this to say:
NOAA is pretty sure that it wasn’t an animal, but the sound of a relatively common event — the cracking of an ice shelf as it breaks up from Antarctica. Several people have linked to the NOAA’s website over the past week excitedly claiming that the mystery of the Bloop has been “solved”, but as the information on the NOAA website was undated and without a source, Wired.co.uk spoke to NOAA and Oregon State University seismologist Robert Dziak by email to check it out. He confirmed that the Bloop really was just an icequake — and it turns out that’s kind of what they always thought it was. The theory of a giant animal making noises loud enough to be heard across the Pacific was more fantasy than science.
The curious thing is when the proper playback speed is truly found this is what it sounds like…
The Oxford Electric Bell, one of the world’s oldest experiments, is powered by a battery working since the 19th century, but no one knows how
A bell that is displayed at the Clarendon Laboratory at the University of Oxford in England has been relentlessly ringing for some 178 years if the math is correct. But don’t worry, no matter how annoying the thought of ringing that never ends, this bell is hardly heard, shielded by quite thick layers of glass.
The mysterious Oxford Electric Bell, as the unusual object has been called, is counted among the world’s oldest experiments, though it may not have been an experiment originally. No one seems to be entirely clear exactly what the battery, which is the source of power for the entire apparatus for nearly 18 decades now, is composed of. There is a note on the bell that states the device was supposedly set up in 1840. However, some accounts at Oxford University say the bell could have been started even earlier, in 1825.
The bell was the product of the company Watkins and Hill that dealt with producing various instruments, based in London. It eventually ended up in the university quarters at some point during the mid-19th century after it was brought there by a University of Oxford physics professor, Robert Walker, the Smithsonian writes.
Charged by the two piles, the clapper moves back and forth between the two bells. Photo:Nicolas1981 CC BY-SA 3.0
The battery powers a small ball made of metal that quickly oscillates between the first and the second installed bell, and after so many decades, it is hard to believe it is still functioning. The device has been distinguished for holding a Guinness World Record for having the most durable battery in the world. Thanks to the battery, the bell would have rung roughly 10 billion times, and probably more than that, calculations from the university suggest.
Nobody wants to open the apparatus at this point, as that could potentially harm it and “ruin an experiment to see how long it will last,” Motherboard writes. The battery is made of dry piles assumed to be of a similar composition as some of the world’s first electricity batteries, an invention of Italian-born physicist Giuseppe Zamboni from the early 19th century.
Because movement of the hanging metal clapper that moves between the two bells makes use of electrostatic forces, the system can continuously run using only low currents of electricity. The battery likely makes use of alternate discs or layers of silver, zinc, and possibly other materials. These are insulated with sulfur, protecting them from moisture for example.
However, what’s precisely inside the battery is one of the most burning questions for those who are dying to know all details of the mysterious mechanism. A former researcher at the Clarendon Laboratory, A. J. Croft, described the apparatus in a 1984 paper for the European Journal of Physics. “What the piles are made of is not known with certainty, but it is clear that the outer coating is of sulfur, and this seals in the cells and the electrolyte,” he notes. He continues to explain how similar the piles of the Oxford bell battery should be with the ones that had been produced by the Italian physicist Zamboni.
The Oxford Electric Bell in December 2009 Photo: DavidCWG-CC BY-SA 3.0
Finding the ultimate answers that veil the bell apparatus with mystery is bound to happen as the battery ultimately wears out and the entire mechanism comes to a halt due to its extensively prolonged lifetime. Whether researchers will find the experiment useful for developing new types of batteries, the answer is no.
By this point, so many new types of batteries have been devised and produced that some of the latest proposed designs sound futuristic. According to the World Economic Forum, scientists at the University of Bristol Cabot Institute are working on a diamond battery made from nuclear waste. The lifetime of this battery should be incredible, and if scientists are correct, it should work for thousands of years.
The Unexplained Phenomenon of Mekong Lights
The Phenomenon of Mekong Lights or widely known as the Naga Fireballs is an Asian mystery, which baffled and stunned many people around the world. These lights occur along an approximate 100km stretch of Mekong River adjoining Thailand and Laos. This strange event happens yearly in late October to early November under a full moon sky. The lights are usually glowing red-orange balls rising out of the Mekong River. Hence, the name Mekong Lights originated from the Mekong river name.
Different Explanation behind the Mysterious Phenomenon of Mekong Lights
According to many locals, the Phenomenon of Mekong Lights or popularly known as Naga Fireballs are actually the fire breath of a giant sea serpent called Naga or Phaya Naga. This serpent lives in the riverbed and awakes every year during the late autumn night of the full moon at the end of the Buddhist Lent. The serpent is believed to be honoring the end of the Vassa or the three-month long period of Rain Retreat or Buddhist Lent.
Naga or sea serpent are described as shape-shifters, they can appear in human form or half human and half serpent creature. In Thailand, the Phaya Nagas are considered as guardians and they are believed to be benevolent powerful servants of Buddha.
Every year, on the 15th day of the 11th lunar Month, locals in Thailand rejoices Phayanak (king of Nagas) Festival, which coincides with the Wan Awk Pansa, the end of Vassa or Buddhist Lent. Since the fireballs are often seen during this period, many locals accept the belief on the serpent Naga.
Evidence of the origin of the fireballs, which is from a large sea serpent, is widely distributed along the Nong Khai Province of Thailand. A photograph showing about 30 American soldiers holding a large and long sea creature was believed to be one of the Nagas. According to some reports, the giant creature is the queen of the Nagas, which was held by American Army at Mekong River on June 27, 1973, in Laos Military Base. However, some reports claimed that the photo is taken from the coast of San Diego, California. According to some research, the sea-creature was not a Naga but a giant oarfish.
This photo is a comparison of an oarfish and the Phaya Naga (sea-serpent). Do you think they are the same creature?
More pieces of evidence are available in a Buddhist Temple in Nong Khai City. Some objects there are believed to be fossilized bones from a Naga, such as an egg and a tooth.
The Naga Fireballs are not just ghostly apparition seen once throughout the history of Thailand and Laos, but many saw the fireballs almost yearly. The Mekong lights were captured and used in movies and documentaries worldwide. Even scientists came to investigate how these fireballs happen.
One scientific explanation of the cause of the Naga Fireballs is the swamp gas theory. Based on this theory, an organic matter at the bottom of the river decomposes and gives off methane gas. This methane gas fizzes up to the surface of the water and it spontaneously ignites when it fuses with oxygen. This process under precise conditions produces a brief burst of flaming gaseous bubbles that form the Mekong Lights.
According to a pediatrician, Dr. Manos Kanoksilp, the main advocate of this explanation explained that the precise conditions that allow methane gas to form fireballs are the exact alignment of the sun, moon, and earth.
Another scientific explanation that is almost similar to the Methane gas theory involves a different gas, which is the Phosphine. The Thai Science Ministry’s Deputy Secretary Saksit Tridech and a team of scientists used special apparatus to measure conditions around the Mekong River. They claimed that the fireballs were the result of built-up Phosphine gas. This gas in the presence of diphosphine is capable of spontaneous flammability under certain chemical conditions in the river sediments of Mekong.
These two theories seem plausible but are actually full of flaws. First, the methane gas burns in an oxygen-rich environment within a specific range. It can only ignite in a very narrow range and requires phosphine and phosphorous tetrahydride. These gases are not commonly present in nature. In an experiment to replicate the fireballs through methane gas, the ignited gas produced bluish green sudden burst with black smoke. This is contradictory to the reddish-orange Naga lights that burn slowly and rises up into the air as a fireball.
On the other hand, the Phosphine gas is heavier than air. It will never rise up midair very quickly like the Naga Fireballs. When phosphine ignites, it yields white and dense cloud, which is unlikely of Mekong Lights. In addition, according to some research, the bottom of the Mekong River does not have organic sediments but has a sandy bed with occasional rocks.
Furthermore, if the alignment of the sun, earth, and moon affects the Mekong Lights, why do the fireballs only happen in the Mekong River and is not observed in other lakes or water parts of the world? If there are other gases involve in the Naga Fireballs, the tedious chemical process of different organic matter should be found in the Mekong River, but explorations did not show anything similar to organic sediments needed by flammable gases. With all these contradictions, the scientific explanations of the Naga Fireballs are not widely accepted.
In 2002, a Thai television network called iTV sent a group of journalists to observe the Mekong River and find out where the fireballs originate. The program “Code Cracking” feature their team who went to the Laotian side of the river during the Naga Festival. What they filmed were Laotian soldiers shooting tracer rounds into the air. Every time they did this, the crowd on the Thailand side were heard shouting, indicating that they’ve seen the Mekong lights. The program received a massive backlash because the locals felt offended about their sacred festival. They felt that the TV program was implying that the fireballs were all just a hoax. Due to this, further scientific explorations were made to figure out where the Mekong lights came from and until now, professionals provided no concrete evidence.
If what the iTV broadcasted were true, why would the Laotian side do this for the Thai festival? Another baffling contradiction is that after this incident with the Laotian soldier, no reports were made that they were actually seen firing again during the Naga festival. Moreover, the fireballs are often seen in very secluded places where organizers of the festivals won’t have any chances to impress visitors. In addition, numerous people closely watch the river yearly, days before the festival and no one was caught in the act doing fake Mekong lights.
For now, we don’t know what causes the Naga Fireballs. This unexplained phenomenon of the Mekong lights will remain a mystery to many but will continue to impress visitors from all over theof the world with a spectacular light show every year.
The Curious Case of Orion Williamson
July 1854 Selma, Alabama. It was a hot sunny afternoon when Orion Williamson, his wife and son relaxed on the porch of their farmhouse. The family watched horses graze under the sunshine in the distance.
It was then Orion stood up and ventured towards the grassy field to tell his farm worker to move the horses into a shaded area. Williamson picked up what is described as a stick lying nearby and began to play with it and he walked forward.
Armour Wren and his son James were the neighbors of the Williamson family. They were passing by in a buggy when they too saw Williamson walk into the field. The Wren’s stopped to wave hello, and as Williamson waved back to his neighbors, he suddenly disappeared, vanishing without a trace in thin air!
Wren rushed to the spot where Orion Williamson last stood, soon joined by Mrs. Williamson and her child. They scoured the area hoping to find the lost farmer. But it was simply grass and land as if Williamson had never been there. What just occurred was impossible to explain. How could a grown man completely vanish in front of his family and neighbors?
With the sudden realization and shock from what happened to her husband, Mrs. Williamson fainted and was taken to the local hospital.
When word of the mysterious occurrence spread throughout town, three hundred people gathered and went to the field to look for Williamson. The crowd carefully searched the entire area. Bloodhounds tracked every turn. Hours passed, and darkness came, torches lit, and still no sign of the poor farmer.
The next day, more citizens from communities outside of Selma came to participate in the search. Volunteers went as far as digging into ground where Williamson disappeared only to find bedrock. Eventually, the search parties gave up. Orion Williamson was never found, dead or alive.
The next spring, investigators returned to the site and oddly saw a barren and dry patch of grass nearby where Orion last stood. When Mrs. Williamson learned of this, she related to them that she and her son kept hearing her husband’s voice calling out for help for weeks after he disappeared. But every time they ran to that spot, they could not find him. She said she kept hearing his voice until it slowed down and gradually faded away.
Whatever happened to Orion Williamson?
Some investigators developed theories to explain the mystery. One hypothesized that an unstable “universal ether” was responsible that could disintegrated matter. Another claim proposed a magnetic field transported the missing man to another dimension.
Juanita Rose Violini included the incident in her book, Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored. Violini narrated two other similar events in 1880 and 1885. The 1880 disappearence occurred in Tennessee, the farmer who vanished was David Lang. Like Williamson, Lang sat on the front porch with his wife and children, walked to a field, and was never seen again. In this case, David Lang’s daughter, Sarah, wrote about the incident in great detail.
Isaac Martin’s disappearance in 1885 tells the tale of a man vanishing in a farm field in Virginia. The New York Sun posted an article about the oddity. But it was not known if there were any eyewitnesses.
In the book, Disappearance and the Theory Thereof, the author, Dr. Maximilian Hern purports the missing men entered a “void spot of universal ether”. Unfortunately, not much useful information is provided to further explain this.
Another popular publication, Among the Missing: An Anecdotal of Missing Persons from 1800 to the Present, by Jay Robert Nash, cities again the conclusions of Hern and another person, Ambrose Bierce, who investigated the Williamson case.
The universal ether, was theorized and proposed by Aristotle during ancient Greek times. In those days it was believed energy traveled through a mysterious substance that exists everywhere. This substance was known as an ether. It was used to explain the principals of natural phenomena such as light and gravity. Sound and light are forms of waves that could travel by ether. In the case of Orion, this ether must have been the medium through which his wife and child heard his voice in the absence of a physical form as presented by Hern and the others. But the theory of the universal ether has weakened through modern time as science gradually developed and understood matter and energy better than before.
The concept of a magnetic field sucking Orion into another dimension is interesting but is certainly something that can’t be expained by modern science. Perhaps String theory which talks of multi-universes might provide insight to how strange cases of physical disappearance may occur. Can a rift in the delicate balance of space and time fabric be responsible?
Ironically, Ambrose Pierce, who wrote a satire to the event, also mysteriously disappeared more than 50 years later under different circumstances.
But the question remains: Whatever happened to Orion Williamson?
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