Chinese scientists have reportedly recorded sounds from the innermost depths of the world's oceans. Researchers from the Northwestern Polytechnical University in the Shaanxi province conducted China's first acoustic test in the Mariana Trench.
The test was carried out near Challenger Deep – an area at the southern tip of the Mariana Trench, about 11 Kms under the surface.
The team reportedly plunged a 10Km-long acoustic probe, which is reportedly capable of recording sounds 9.3 Kms away, in the ocean. South China Morning Post reported that the Challenger Deep, which is around 320Kms away from the US territory of Guam and is the deepest recorded point in the Earth's seabed.
The experiment, which reportedly took a year's worth of preparation, was carried out to understand how sound is transmitted in deep sea, where even light is unable to penetrate and many sea creatures are forced to rely on sound waves for communication and navigation.
However, China's deep sea research could also have military applications.
"Civilian research projects can feed into military uses, like in this case, understanding acoustic characteristics in the trench can promote deep-sea acoustic research, helping scientists refine sonar technology, which will aid in honing one's anti-submarine and underwater warfare capabilities," Collin Koh Swee Lean, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, South China Morning Post reported.
The country's unmanned marine research also saw scientists leave six acoustic sensors in the Mariana Trench, which will remain there for a year, gathering information about ambient sea sounds, before they are retrieved in November 2018.