Water Racket

The world’s oceans are getting noisier and it’s killing the creatures that live there. One major culprit is oil and gas drilling, which involves low-frequency seismic pulses used to survey geologic strata. Military sonar and large shipping vessels also generate their share of racket.

The U.K.’s Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, which recently launched an Oceans of Noise campaign, says there is evidence that all the noise is causing hearing loss, injury, and even death in cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises).

In some cases, the animals can fail to hear predators approaching, or fail to hear each other, causing mommy whales to lose their baby whales (Disney, are you listening?). Also threatened is the mysterious giant squid, unusual numbers of which have been found beached in Spain recently, some with their organs damaged almost beyond recognition.

Researchers speculate that noise pollution drove them to surface too quickly, causing air-pressure issues that I don’t even want to think about.