JUN 21, 2017 4:15 PM PDT

What do whales and nuclear bombs have to do with each other?


In the 1990s, many countries signed an agreement to outlaw tests of nuclear weapons and in order to make sure no one was violating the pact, they set up a system of sensors that pick up the low-frequency waves that nuclear explosions send over long distances. But interestingly enough, because most countries adhere to the agreement, most of what the system picks up isn't actually nuclear tests, but other things that emit low-frequency sounds, such as rocket ship take-offs, volcanic eruptions, ship engines, the vibrations of icebergs, earthquakes, and...you got it, whale songs!

So while this sensor system was put into place for a sort of big-brother effect, it has actually led to a lot of new knowledge regarding the earth and atmosphere. For instance, the sensing of underwater earthquakes allows scientists to better predict and warn about potential tsunami dangers. Scientists can also use the system via whale songs to track whales for research purposes, instead of just wandering through the ocean on a dingy hoping to find a whale and tag it. The system also picks up frequencies from meteoroids that travel through the atmosphere and we have discovered that there are way more meteoroids out there than we previously thought. What else can the sensing system tell us? Watch the video to find out!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 16, 2019
Here's What Would Happen if the Earth Stopped Orbiting the Sun
The Earth orbits the Sun once every 365 days, or one full year. It does this while whizzing through the vacuum of space at break-neck speeds of up to 110,0...
JAN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 14, 2020
How Much Do You Know About Jupiter?
Jupiter, recognized by most as the largest known planet in our solar system, is a particularly interesting place. So interesting, in fact, that NASA sent a...
JAN 16, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 16, 2020
Self-healable Sweat Sensor Fears No Wear and Tear
Sweat can provide a lot of information about a person's health. One of the current trends in wearable technology is to incorporate sweat sensing mechan...
JAN 17, 2020
Cardiology
JAN 17, 2020
Toxic Metals and Cardiovascular Risk
A meta-analysis was recently published in the British Medical Journal to try and understand if there was a link between heart events and exposure to toxic ...
JAN 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 19, 2020
A Brief Summary of Everything We Know About Pluto
Pluto was once considered one of the solar system’s planets but was later downgraded to the status of ‘dwarf’ planet after several more s...
JAN 21, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 21, 2020
After Hibernation, These Grizzlies Turn to Clams for Nourishment
Grizzly bears spend up to seven Wintery months hibernating, and in that time, they can lose a substantial amount of their body weight. While surrounding ma...
Loading Comments...