Proof that Giant Squids were Killed by Sound
According to Michel André, a marine bioacoustician at Barcelona’s Technical University of Catalonia, noise pollution in the ocean is having a much broader effect on marine life than previously thought. The finding suggests that low-frequency sounds from human activities can affect squid and other cephalopods, not just whales and other marine mammals, which have long been thought to be vulnerable to such pulses.
In the early 2000s the remains of giant squid were found off Spain’s Asturias province. In each case, the creatures’ bodies appeared soon after ships had used air guns to conduct low-frequency sound-pulse exercises in the region, in some cases for oil-and-gas prospecting efforts.
Scientists investigating the giant squid remains at the time found evidence of extensive bodily damage, including mantles reduced to pulp, bruised muscles, and lesions in statocysts. These fluid-filled organs rest behind the creatures’ eyes and help giant squid maintain balance and position.
“With this study, we now have proof” that low-frequency sounds can harm cephalopods, said Guerra, a marine biologist at Spain’s Marine Research Institute who was not involved in the current study, which will appear in a future issue of the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
Maybe we should be coming up with, or using other methods of prospecting. I get cranky with a bit of construction noise… imagine getting physically blasted with sound? Ouch.