Saturday, April 13, 2024

What is the mysterious noise keeping Florida residents up at night? This scientist has an idea

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Mysterious bass noises have shaken a Tampa neighborhood for years, leading residents to band together to solve the enigma.

The frustrated South Tampa residents who have heard the puzzling deep bass tones periodically since 2022 have proposed a variety of theories, ranging from boat parties to secret military projects to aliens, according to one citizen, Sara Healy, who launched an investigation into the noise. Dr. James Locascio of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota suspected the noise could be from black drum fish mating in the bay, leading Healy to raise money for the scientist to install underwater microphones in the ocean to analyze the sound. 

Tampa residents have grown frustrated over a mysterious deep bass sound that has shaken the area periodically since 2022.  (Getty Images)

“I’m just a fixer and a finder,” resident Sara Healy told Fox News. I’m just trying to give back to my community and pay it forward.”

The 10-year resident first heard the noise Jan. 13, but has heard complaints from neighbors since 2022. Kids have even woken up from the pulsing vibration, she said. 

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“The first thing I did was open the bedroom window to see if that made any difference, and it didn’t change,” Healy told Fox News about the sound. “The intensity of the vibration, the intensity of the bass that I was hearing, it was just sort of this rhythmic low hum, not dissimilar to like if somebody a couple streets away was having a rager.”

“It’s not even a matter of like, ‘well, I’ll just put in earplugs, or I’ll turn on my Hatch sound machine,'” she said. “It’s just pervasive in their homes, depending on where they are.” 

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Marine scientist in ocean

Tampa residents raised money for a local marine scientist to install underwater microphones in the bay to figure out the cause behind a puzzling sound.  (Courtesy: TikTok / @donevperfect )

Healy immediately reached out to Locascio about the noise and started a GoFundMe page to raise money for an investigation, which has since collected $2,650 dollars. After the funding passed the $2,500 dollar threshold to cover costs for the equipment, Locascio agreed to install the underwater devices.

“Understanding this is satisfying, and it reduces the anxiety about what the source is, but it also offers the opportunity to learn something pretty neat about the natural world,” Locascio told FOX 13

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Locascio said the tone, rhythm and distance of the mystery noise matched black drum fish mating sounds, FOX 13 reported. He also said it was their mating season. 

A fish caught in the ocean

Local marine scientist Dr. James Locascio has guessed the mysterious sound could be from black drum fish mating due to the tone, rhythm and distance the sound traveled.  (Getty Images)

“It’s a low frequency sound, and so they travel much better and go further distances, and they go through dissimilar media more efficiently,” Locascio said.

The project includes five underwater microphones that will record the ocean’s sounds for over two months alongside observations from citizen scientists keeping journals of the activity, according to Healy.

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In a similar experiment decades earlier, Locascio used underwater acoustic recorders and resident observations to link mysterious noises in Cape Coral and Punta Gorda to black drum fish mating, FOX 13 reported. 

The Tampa microphones will be removed in mid-April for analysis, but it could take until mid-summer to determine the mysterious noise’s source, Healy said. 

“I just want answers for the community, for me and just for everyone who is curious,” she told FOX 13. “Just having an answer or having a clearer answer or more information would just help everybody as a whole.”



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