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Science & Technology

Scientists record the Earth's mysterious hum

By T.K. Randall
December 8, 2017 · Comment icon 10 comments

The hum is beneath the threshold of human hearing. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 NikoLang
Our planet is making a continuous low humming sound and nobody is quite sure what is causing it.
Efforts to directly detect the sound, known as 'the hum', have been ongoing since the 1950s, but now a team of researchers led by Martha Deen at the Paris Institute of Earth Physics have finally found a way to record the notorious sound using 57 seismometer stations situated in the Indian Ocean.

"A low noise level is needed to observe the small signal amplitude of the hum," the team wrote. "At the ocean bottom, the noise level at long periods is generally much higher than at land stations."
At between 2.9 and 4.5 millihertz, the hum is far below the threshold of human hearing.

The sound is caused by the slight expansion and contraction of the planet, however it remains unclear exactly why this happens. One theory suggests that the pounding of the waves may be to blame.

By directly analyzing the hum, scientists are now hoping to be able to fully explain the phenomenon and believe that it may even be possible to use it to help map the interior of the Earth.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (10)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by bison 5 years ago
Scarcely a 'hum', as the term is generally understood. Such contractions would occur every 3 minutes, 42 seconds to 5 minutes, 45 seconds. Wind-driven gravity waves* in the sea are strongest at the same range of frequencies, so are probably connected to this phenomenon. *Not to be confused with astrophysical gravitational waves. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by ExoPaul 5 years ago
I wonder if the hum could one day be detectable on other planets?
Comment icon #3 Posted by BeastieRunner 5 years ago
The irony of whining about whiners must be lost on you.
Comment icon #4 Posted by geraldnewfie 5 years ago
thats the upside down trying to get through :P
Comment icon #5 Posted by eddword 5 years ago
Hmmmm,..I think I feel more like I do now,...Than I did, when I first got here...How about you?
Comment icon #6 Posted by docyabut2 5 years ago Could be many sounds.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DirtyDocMartens 5 years ago
Why do have to be like that? Surely there's somewhere on the Internet that's more appropriate than this forum. Okay, now go ahead and predictably insult me or make some cliche comment. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by DirtyDocMartens 5 years ago
Lol, been there, man. No worries.
Comment icon #9 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
Maybe it's the whine of the planet's mainspring winding down like a clock.  Remember we only have 600 years left. We need to find the key to rewind the planet.
Comment icon #10 Posted by BeastieRunner 5 years ago
I like this one best.

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