A strange sound is coming from the sea floor in a remote region of northern Canada, and no one can figure out its source, CBC News reports. The sound is described as a "pinging" noise, although others have said it is more of a "hum" or a "beep"; the noise apparently can be heard even through the hull of boats.
"As of today, we're still working on it," George Qulaut, a member of the local legislative assembly, said. "We don't have a single clue."
The sound is heard in Fury and Hecla Strait, north of the tiny hamlet of Igloolik. It is even scaring away the animals, according to local hunters. "That passage is a migratory route for bowhead whales, and also bearded seals and ringed seals. There would be so many in that particular area," Qulaut added. "This summer there was none."
Some hunters blamed Greenpeace, repeating rumors that the organization puts sonar on the seabed to scare marine mammals away from Inuit hunters. But "not only would we not do anything to harm marine life, but we very much respect the right of Inuit to hunt and would definitely not want to impact that in any way," spokeswoman Farrah Khan said.
Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation also says it is not responsible for the sound; while they've used sonar for surveys in the past, they currently have nothing in the water and are not conducting surveys in the area. No other construction, blasting, or hydrography permits are issued for the area.
The Canadian military is now involved in investigations. "The Department of National Defense has been informed of the strange noises emanating in the Fury and Hecla Strait area, and the Canadian Armed Forces are taking the appropriate steps to actively investigate the situation," a spokesperson said in a statement.