On the Air: November 29, 2015
Typical acoustic signatures of bottomfish, during day and night surveys. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Reka Domokos

The oceans are getting louder. Fish and mammals grunt, click, and chirp to attract mates, threaten rivals, or just say “howdy.” At times, though, they can be overpowered by the sounds created by humans. It’s enough to drive a fish to distraction.

To understand just how distracting human-made noise can be, scientists first must understand how marine organisms deal with the natural “soundscape” — the sounds produced by the creatures themselves. A recent study, for example, found that fish seem to talk over each other during the daytime, but share the soundscape at night.

In Print: November 1, 2015
Australian scientists looking for larval lobsters discovered a group of underwater volcanoes, shown in the relief map above. Credit: Australia’s Marine National Facility

Sometimes scientists go searching for one thing, only to stumble upon something completely unexpected. That’s how one group of researchers recently discovered a collection of underwater volcanoes about 150 miles off the coast of Sydney, Australia.