Phantom Sway

And then it got weird: Farting Fish and Other Auditory Nightmares

First of all, we have to give NPR credit for keeping it classy and not using the phrase “farting fish” to create a crass clickbait headline.

First of all, we have to give NPR credit for keeping it classy and not using the phrase “farting fish” to create a crass clickbait headline. 

In the Fart of the Sea

Mysterious Ocean Buzz Traced To Daily Fish Migration

6d76c4276709184e20a518201195bc37Still, “mysterious ocean buzz” boils down to the same thing, fish farts. Lots of them. So many, in fact, that the noise had scientists baffled for years. Scientists drop underwater microphones or—”hydrophones” for those of you in the business—in order to listen to whale noises and such because they’re so much better live. You probably haven’t heard them so you wouldn’t even know.

But a few years ago, those hydrophones picked up something weird out in the Pacific. The puzzling sound was faint, but continuous at certain times of day — just a few decibels above the background level — and definitely different from the normal sound of the ocean. It was 300 hertz and above — high for the call of a whale, and too continuous to be the signals of other marine mammals.

Why the noise? Scientists can only speculate. It could be, says Baumann-Pickering, that the creatures “are truly, actively communicating — potentially to initiate migration.” In other words, maybe the buzz is just a signal that “it’s time to go,” she says.

But there’s another more mundane possibility.

“It’s known that some fish are considered to be farting,” says Baumann-Pickering, “that they emit gas as they change depths in the water column.” The gas comes from a swim bladder inside the fish that controls its buoyancy.

Imagine enough subaqueous “considered to be” farts occurring in rapid enough succession to sound like a “buzz.” Granted there are probably other sounds mixed in, like embarrassed fish issuing denials, polite fish excusing themselves, or “Dude, I just totally crop-dusted that grouper.”

Dark Side of the Moon


Discovery’s series NASA’s Unexplained Files recently called attention to an incident where the astronauts of Apollo 10 picked up strange audio signals on their radios while orbiting the moon.

Apollo 10 astronauts heard eerie ‘music’ on the far side of the Moon, NASA audio reveals

The full transcript of the encounter has been publicly available since 1973, but the audio has gone largely unnoticed until this weekend, when it was featured in the new Discovery series, NASA’s Unexplained Files (watch below).

What’s perhaps even more remarkable than hearing this ‘space music’ for the first time is seeing how freaked out the Apollo 10 astronauts, Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan, were about what they heard:

Cernan: “You know that was funny. That’s just like something from outer space, really. Who’s going to believe it?”

Young: “Nobody. Shall we tell them about it?”

Cernan: “I don’t know. We ought to think about it some.”

If you read the full transcript, at different points in the conversation, both Cernan and Young lament that, “No one will believe us.” 

The best part of this is astronaut Eugene Cernan saying “That’s just like something from outer space” while he’s traveling in outer space and nobody gives him the business. It’s as if a marine scientist listening to fish flatulence said, “Gee that sounds like something from under the ocean.”

NASA wants you to believe that the strange sounds were just radio interference caused by swamp gas bouncing off a weather balloon or something. For some reason they insist on keeping the public in the dark about moon farts. The truth is out there. Maybe it’s in inner space instead of outer space.

There’s a party in my pelvis and no one is invited and also I can’t make it stop so please kill me for the love of God kill me I’m begging you

That it looks like a jagged piece of glass makes it more inviting.
That it looks like a jagged piece of glass makes it even more inviting.

Czech artist Jan Strmiska has invented a way for you to enjoy thumping techno music from inside your digestive tract. FINALLY.

Jan appropriately goes by the pseudonym Jan Poope, presumably because the majority of his art is disturbingly ass related. The “Audiopill,” while bizarre, appears to be his least rectally focused work.

Audiopill: for enjoying music from inside

Swallow the thing and then for ten hours BANG the feeling inside your stomach BANG insanity BANG joy BANG horror BANG elation BANG extasy BANG BANG pain BANG BANG BANG BANG…

Sure, it sounds tempting but I don’t know…

Audiopill (pill) will make you feel like you are standing in the middle of a concert hall with a powerful audiosystem inside your body. Or like you are standing in a factory workshop full metal working machines and ramming an impact drill into your stomach. The only diference is there’s an absolute silence all around and you are experiencing the music in perfect privacy and only from the inside. 

After swallowing, it takes the Audiopill about an hour to make it through the upper parts of gastrointestinal tract (in the first minutes you have to press your palm on your chest to feel the beats). But after it descends to the pelvic area, the effects become very intensive. You may for a while regret your experimental courage.

You are at a 10-hour party of one and only hypnotic rhythm, and there’s nowhere to escape. 

Ok, stop already. You had me at “ramming an impact drill” into my stomach. Where do I sign?

But seriously, this is very thought provoking art. It provokes thoughts like, “Who the hell is this guy and why is he so obsessed with buttholes?” and “Why isn’t he locked up somewhere?” with a smattering of “What is wrong with people? I mean really. What the hell?”

Perhaps people have more sense than I give them credit for. Poope’s IndieGoGo campaign to raise €150,000 to further develop his nightmarish vision only succeeded in generating €148 from six people who should feel very badly about themselves. Maybe there’s hope for society yet. I won’t hold my breath though…unless it’s to avoid smelling the fish farts.


James Lanka

Science fiction nerd, writer, blogger, music lover, artist, native of the east coast.

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