This strange hum circled the whole world. But nobody heard it.

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There was a hum that no one might hear. It was a seismic occasion, one which originated off the coast of Mayotte on Nov. 11, a tiny island within the waters between Madagascar and Mozambique.

From there, it circled the complete world, although it was uncommon sufficient (un-earthquake-ish sufficient) that just about nobody observed, as Maya Wei-Haas reported for Nationwide Geographic. A couple of folks paid consideration although, and that sparked a hunt for the supply of the hum that, she reported, nonetheless hasn’t been resolved.

The hum, Nationwide Geographic reported, was unusual for plenty of causes. First, it rang at only a single ultra-low frequency, like a well-tuned bell. Seismic waves often contain a lot of completely different frequencies. Second, the wave emerged and circled the planet with out the standard indicators of an earthquake; nobody within the space felt any shaking, and the “p-waves” and “s-waves” related to the hum, the form of waves that you just truly really feel throughout an earthquake, had been so faint as to be almost undetectable. And but, a Nov. 12 report from the French authorities discovered that Mayotte had slid 2.four inches (6 centimeters) to the east and 1.2 inches (three cm) to the south. [The 10 Biggest Earthquakes in History]

Scientists have proposed plenty of attainable explanations for the unusual seismic occasion close to Mayotte, Wei-Haas reported. However none is but wherever close to confirmed. Maybe a “sluggish earthquake” struck the realm, the type that does not trigger a lot intense shaking as a result of it happens over a for much longer time period. Maybe a bubble of magma squeezed previous under the floor, or sloshed round in a giant gap within the crust in a method that interacted with the native geology to supply the resonant ringing. Researchers even speculated a couple of meteor strike, although that appears unlikely. For now, the precise trigger stays a thriller.

For extra on the bizarre seismic occasion, learn the total report at Nationwide Geographic.

Initially revealed on Dwell Science.

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