We’ve finally identified what the Earth sounds like
Thanks to a team of scientists, we now know what the Earth’s own song sounds like. Spoiler, it’s nothing like Michael Jackson’s take.
Scientists first discovered the planetary score by measuring the constant hum of the Earth using a special orb dropped into the Indian Ocean. By using Ocean-Bottom Seismometers (OCBs), it’s possible to record the natural frequency of the Earth and uncover its natural resonance.
Don’t expect to hear the Earth’s hum while you’re out and about though, to record the sound of the Earth scientists deployed 57 of these spheres between September 2012 and November 2013. These spheres then made numerous recordings between 2.9 and 4.5 millihertz to finally capture the sound of the world. For reference, that’s a recording more than 10,000 lower than what the human ear can detect.
Scientists have known the Earth had its own sound since around 1959, but it’s been undetectable until now. Nobody really knows what causes it either, it’s not tectonic plates shifting as microearthquakes happen around the world but every other theory is just as speculative.
Some suggest that atmospheric disturbances are to blame, others the movement of waves over the seafloor.
The hum also seems to be global. Despite measurements being made in the sea, The research team stripped back all other sounds from the ocean to be left with the Earth’s hum. They then compared it to the land-based sound research being done in Algeria and discovered the two match up.
If you’re wondering what use recording the Earth’s sound has beyond morbid curiosity, it could actually offer up incredible insights into how the inner layers of the Earth work. Understanding how the hum is caused could lead to a greater understanding of just how to map the layers underneath the world’s hard crust.
Unfortunately, the scientists from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris didn’t release their recording of the Earth’s sound. So, I’m afraid, it’s more Michael Jackson for you.