Male Midshipman Fish to Blame for Mysterious Hum in England? (Video)
The male Midshipman fish may be to blame for a mysterious hum that's been keeping people in parts of England awake at night.
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According to The Independent, the noise that "pulsates" through homes often forces residents in Hythe near Southampton to evacuate the area in order to get a good night's rest.
Individuals even complained to the local council regarding the noise and blaming it on cargo ships coming in at Southamptom Docks. Some even believed they had tinnitus, according to the news organization-a medical condition that causes noise or ringing in the ears, a problem that affects 1 in 5 people of an underlying condition such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.
Fortunately, scientists have now discovered that the noise is from the breed of fish competing to out-hum each other as part of an unusual mating ritual.
The fish carry an air-filled bladder known as a swim bladder than most fish use to change their position in the water column. Yet these guys have secondarily adapted this organ for the production of sound.
According to Dr. Andy Bass, a biologist from Cornell University, he notes that "Individual males build a territory, if you will, under a rock shelter. And from that rocky shelter, they produce that hum advertisement call to attract females to their nest."
Unfortunately for the residents of Hythe, researchers note that the noise created by the fish is such a low frequency and long wavelength that it can be heard even through walls and in their homes.
Want to hear what these fish sound like? Check out this video, courtesy of LiveScience.