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Mysterious hum could be mating fish

Posted on Friday, 25 October, 2013 | Comment icon 23 comments

The fish make a low humming noise during their mating rituals. Image Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Local authorities have been investigating a strange and pervasive humming noise in Southampton.
The sound is so pervasive and so annoying that some residents of Hythe in Hampshire, England have had to resort to moving away from the area. The local council received so many complaints about the problem that they launched their own investigation in an effort to get to the bottom of it.

Several causes for the pulsating din have been examined including local industrial centers and large cargo ships arriving at the nearby docks. Scientists however believe that the noise could be coming from an altogether unexpected source - the mating ritual of the male Midshipman fish.

Males of this nocturnal fish species are known to hum to one another both in an effort to attract females and to deter rival males. The low frequency nature of the hum makes it easy for it carry through the ground and up in to people's homes through the walls.

"A few times we put it down to a neighbour's washing machine or dishwasher but it's happening so frequently that we know it's not the case," said Maria Dennett who lives in the vicinity. "It's a really low pitched sound that literally pulsates through the house."

Source: Independent | Comments (23)

Tags: Hum

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by stereologist on 27 October, 2013, 11:15
Fish have been identified as the source of strange sounds before. Seattle: Florida, California, Massachusetts: Other fish use stridulation, rubbing their bones together in a way that is comparable to plinking the tines on a comb or using a ratchet mechanism on their pectoral fins to make sounds. Herring release bubbles from their anus in a “fast repetitive tick.”
Comment icon #15 Posted by Kyle98632 on 29 October, 2013, 18:45
Comment icon #16 Posted by homo.liberis on 27 November, 2013, 19:30
And the lady fish love it! hehehe
Comment icon #17 Posted by Colonel Rhuairidh on 27 November, 2013, 20:33
I really dont' see why this need be mysterious or a great mystery, seeing that just down the road is Fawley oil refinery, which is just the kind of place you might expect various kinds of noises to emanate.
Comment icon #18 Posted by JGirl on 27 January, 2014, 4:14
those crazy fish at it again
Comment icon #19 Posted by Oppono Astos on 28 January, 2014, 19:04
I really dont' see why this need be mysterious or a great mystery, seeing that just down the road is Fawley oil refinery, which is just the kind of place you might expect various kinds of noises to emanate. And the water traffic in the Solent. Every time I visit Lepe I hear sporadic humming/roaring noises which appear to be out in the water directly in front of me, then I look eastwards and note the noise coincides with the Red-Jet hydrofoil crossing between Southampton and Cowes.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Rafterman on 28 January, 2014, 19:10
I really dont' see why this need be mysterious or a great mystery, seeing that just down the road is Fawley oil refinery, which is just the kind of place you might expect various kinds of noises to emanate. Agreed. When I lived near Syracuse, NY, we had a similar situation and it turned out to be a bad fan at a nearby power plant.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Beany on 31 January, 2014, 1:57
What a bunch of degenerates! My kind of people. I think people living in houseboats in Sausalito CA kept hearing humming, and it did turn out to be amorous toadfish.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Gamrat on 5 February, 2014, 14:39
I'll blame the sound on fish farts!
Comment icon #23 Posted by DumpsterJesus on 5 February, 2014, 20:35
"in the event of a fish... always use the indefinite article a fish, never your fish." Chuck Palahnuik's 'Fish Club'

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