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Underwater Video From 2013 Ended Up Being a Big Deal

The whales filmed were actually True's beaked whales

(Newser) - A group of students got an unforgettable science lesson in May 2013—but just how unforgettable is only now coming to light. While on an expedition in the Azores some 950 miles west of Portugal, as many as four beaked whales surfaced and spent about 10 minutes near a small... More »

Narwhals 'See' Unlike Any Other Species

Directional sonar helps them find areas free of ice

(Newser) - Whales need to surface in order to breathe, and the narwhal is no different. Every four to six minutes, the Arctic whale—including males with a long tooth resembling a horn—must emerge from the depths of Baffin Bay between Baffin Island and Greenland, where 80% of all narwhals winter,... More »

Australia Finds 'Drowned Apostles'

Geologist on new limestone stacks: 'They shouldn't be there'

(Newser) - One of Australia's most beloved attractions is its 12 Apostles—ancient rock formations poking out of the waves off Victoria's coast. Scientists say they're in awe after discovering five "Drowned Apostles" in a linear formation hiding 160 feet underwater a few miles offshore. Melbourne University PhD... More »

Sonar Vehicle Seeking MH370 Crashes Into Volcano

The accident will set the search for the missing plane back by 12 days

(Newser) - A "towfish" sonar vehicle searching for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 didn't find the missing plane, but it did find a 7,400-foot-tall underwater volcano…when it crashed right into it on Sunday, NBC News reports. The towfish was being dragged by a search vessel and scanning the floor... More »

Navy Cuts Deal to Save Whales

Sonar use to be limited off Hawaii, California

(Newser) - The Navy agreed to limit its use of sonar and other training that inadvertently harms whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals off Hawaii and California in a settlement with environmental groups approved yesterday. The agreement signed by a federal judge in Honolulu includes limits or bans on mid-frequency active sonar... More »

'Ghost Ship' Found Half-Mile Below Surface of Pacific

The former cable ship Dickenson was torpedoed in 1946

(Newser) - A torpedo sent the USS Kailua to a watery grave off the coast of Oahu in 1946. Nearly seven decades later, a small submersible vehicle last year discovered the surprisingly intact "ghost" ship, the University of Hawaii announced Friday. The former cable ship Dickenson was instrumental in Pacific communications... More »

Underwater Bot Finds Surprisingly Thick Antarctic Ice

SeaBED uses sonar to map the hard-to-reach ice, which is as thick as 65 feet

(Newser) - Until now, scientists have measured ice thickness using satellite images, visual estimates, and by drilling holes in the ice itself. But in Antarctica, much of the floating ice is actually underwater, with ice so thick that drilling and satellite images just don't work. For the past four years, a... More »

In Bat Battles, Rivals Jam Each Other's Sonar

Study identifies technique for first time in Mexican free-tailed bats

(Newser) - Bats don't mess around when it comes to food fights—they can prevent rivals from snagging prey by emitting a noise that essentially jams the other bat's sonar. One researcher discovered the tactic for the first time among the Mexican free-tailed bat, which, like all bats, uses "... More »

Studies Uncover 'Missing Link' in Whale Strandings

Researchers observe how sonar affects behavior

(Newser) - Two new studies have uncovered what the Guardian is terming a "missing link" between sonar and whale strandings. Though the advent of military sonar in the 1950s coincided with a spike in strandings, one of the researchers involved explains that an unknown piece of the puzzle has been how—... More »

Sonar Image May Show Earhart's Plane

Off island of Nikumaroro

(Newser) - A team of experts that has been chasing Amelia Earhart's elusive trail for years may be closer than ever to solving the mystery of her 1937 disappearance. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) had more than a decade ago pinpointed the Pacific island of Nikumaroro as the... More »

Navy: Sonar, Blasts Way Harmful Than We Thought

1.6K whales, dolphins could face injury, hearing loss in year

(Newser) - The Navy's use of sonar and explosives could deal damage to some 1,600 marine mammals near California and Hawaii every year—a figure far higher than once believed. The whales and dolphins are at risk of hearing loss and other injuries, the AP reports. What's more, the... More »

Scientists Create First Full Map of Titanic Wreckage

It could shed new light on exactly what happened

(Newser) - For the first time ever, researchers have constructed a complete map of the Titanic's underwater shipwreck site. When the Titanic sank in 1912, debris was scattered across an area measuring 3 by 5 miles. To draw a detailed map of the area, scientists dispatched robots to take more than... More »

Navy Sonar Terrifies Beaked Whales

Sonar exercises linked to mass beachings

(Newser) - A new study has provided the strongest evidence yet that naval sonar is responsible for the stranding and death of large groups of beaked whales. Researchers working near the US Navy's Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center found that the whales stopped making their clicking and buzzing calls during live... More »

Air France Tail Found

(Newser) - Brazilian searchers found a large tail section from an Air France jet today, one of the biggest pieces yet recovered from wreckage that could help narrow the search for Flight 447's black boxes. A US Navy team is bringing in high-tech underwater listening devices to detect pings from the data... More »

Navy, Greenies Settle Sonar Dispute

Both sides declare victory in long-running lawsuit

(Newser) - The Navy and environmental groups both declared victory today after the two sides settled a lawsuit over sonar and its effect on whales and other marine mammals, the Los Angeles Times reports. The settlement, reached Friday, calls for Navy ships to avoid sensitive areas and reduce or halt sonar when... More »

Supreme Court OKs Navy Sonar Near Whales

5-4 decision sides with Bush administration

(Newser) - The Supreme Court sided 5-4 with the Bush administration today, exempting the Navy from switching off high-powered sonar near whales during training off California's coast. The piercing underwater sounds panic whales and make their ears bleed, environmentalists tell the Los Angeles Times. But the “public interest” in the exercises... More »

Noisy Humans 'Drowning Out' Marine Mammals

Report urges humans to turn down industrial volume in world's oceans

(Newser) - Whales and dolphins are seriously suffering from the noise that human industry and militaries release into the ocean, an animal-welfare group warns—and we need to turn the volume down before we do irreversible damage. Sonar is implicated for mass stranding and deaths of whales and dolphins, the BBC reports,... More »

Supreme Court Will Hear Navy Sonar Appeal

Justices also reject environmentalists' challenge to US-Mexico border fence

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today agreed to hear the US Navy's objection to a court order that ships may not use sonar within 12 miles of the California coast because high-frequency signals are harming whales and other marine life, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Bush administration argues that the judge... More »

Volvo Promises Crash-Proof Car By 2020

Road deaths will be history, Swedes say

(Newser) - Volvo executives have vowed to create an un-crashable, injury-proof car by 2020, Reuters reports. The car manufacturer is adapting technology developed for commercial aviation to create a vehicle that will take over the controls in a dangerous situation and brake or steer out of harm's way. Engineers are hopeful such... More »

WWII Ship Found After 66 Years

Legendary HMAS Sydney sank in battle with German raider

(Newser) - A legendary Australian war ship sunk in the Indian Ocean by a German raider during World War II has been found nearly intact after 66 years, the Australian PM confirmed today. The HMAS Sydney sank after a 30-minute battle with the Kormoran in Australia's greatest tragedy at sea. The wreckage... More »

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