Amorous fish blamed for mysterious sound around Florida bay

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Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A Florida scientist said a mysterious bass sound reported by residents in the Tampa Bay area might be coming from mating fish.

Area residents reported hearing the low-pitched sound periodically since 2021, and so far no concrete answers have been found as to its origins.


James Locascio, a senior scientist with the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, said the sound could be coming from black drum fish in the bay. He said the fish produce throbbing sounds during their mating season when muscles vibrate against their swim bladders.

He said the sound could reach as far as a mile away from the water.

"It's a low frequency sound, and so they travel much better and go further distances, and they go through dissimilar media more efficiently," Locascio told WTVT-TV.

Local resident Sara Healy, who heard the sound as recently as Saturday night, said she listened to a recording of the sounds made by black drum fish and she believes Locascio's hypothesis to be correct.

"That's exactly what I heard. Identical in tone and rhythm," Healy said.

Healy is now attempting to raise $2,500 so Locascio can install underwater acoustic recorders to confirm whether the sound is coming from black drum fish. Locascio said the equipment could be installed in a matter of a few days if the funding goal is reached.


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