Tech UPTechnologyWhat is the skymoto (and is not going through...

What is the skymoto (and is not going through the sky on a motorcycle)?


A hundred years ago the world was much quieter than it is today . Today we are used to the backfire of motorcycles, the sonic boom of planes, various explosions… It is something that is even reflected in the cinema: there is a higher level of noise in current films than in those of 30 years ago.

That is why the strange sounds that nature sometimes gives us are masked or simply ignored . One of the most mysterious is called the cielomoto (skyquake) in the United States, mistpouffers in France, marina or brontidi in Italy, uminari in Japan, or rumble in South America.

These are explosions that are heard on the coasts of half the world and of which there are records of their existence since the end of the 19th century . The only thing that is known about these mysterious bursts is that they must be related to the sea, since they are only heard in coastal areas.

A certain hypothesis postulates that they are natural gas eruptions from the part of the continental plate that is under the oceans. In this sense, its origin would be the same as other spooky sounds called “cannons of the lakes”, since they are heard in some large lakes, such as the Seneca in New York, and whose antiquity is attested by the stories of the Native Americans of area. In the 1930s, the magazine Science published different articles in which it was argued that the “Seneca canyons” could be related to “leakage” of the natural gas pockets there.

The phenomenon of booms is heard all over the globe : from the Canadian east coast to the mouth of the Ganges – where they are known as the Barisal canyons – passing through the Belgian coast, different places in Scotland and the Philippines.

In Italy at the end of the 19th century, the following saying was heard: “When tuona la marina o acqualo, vento o strina” (When the marina sounds -the ocean rumbles-, expect rain, wind or heat). According to an article published in the Monthly Weather Review by A. Cancani in 1898, in Italy “the interval between successive detonations is variable… they seem to be heard at any time of year and time of day ” and are not associated with a stormy sea, since they are heard quite frequently during a calm sea.

Of all the booms the most famous are those heard in the Ganges delta, especially from February to October. They appear just before, during, or immediately after thunderstorms, and they always appear to be coming from a southerly or southeasterly direction.

Some scientists who have been interested in these explosions point out that all these characteristics point to a seismic origin, although this type of detonation is more common in mountainous areas. But of all the mysterious sounds that we can hear around the planet, surely none is more hypnotizing than the musical sands of some deserts, as in Sinai : horns, bells, growls and even barks. Could this be the origin of the legend of the morning sigh of the Sphinx? No one has been able to convincingly explain the mysterious mechanism of action that makes it sound like a bark in one place and like the gentle flute of the god Aeolus in another.

Equally mysterious is a persistent, annoying, low-frequency buzzing – which makes it inaudible by many people – that has been heard in Bristol (England), Taos (New Mexico, USA), Auckland (New Zealand) or Valencia (Spain).

In Taos, for example, they have described it as a faint humming sound , similar to a diesel engine idling in the distance. Very annoying, it interferes with sleep and those who listen to it say that it is more noticeable at night and indoors. In the small town of Taos, the situation became so annoying that in 1993 the locals asked Congress for a study on this hum (known in English as The Hum). After interviewing the residents of this small town, they found that only about 2% had heard it. There were no significant differences between men and women, but middle-aged people were more likely to listen to it . The source could not be identified although it was noted that, according to the descriptions made by those who had heard it, there was not only one type of humming, but different people perceived it differently. This has made some scientists think that possibly many of those who claim to hear it actually suffer from tinnitus or tinnitus, sounds that appear in the ear due to different causes, from trauma to stress situations.

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