Mysterious sea floor ‘ping’ is disrupting Inuit communities in Canada

sea floor ping

The sea floor ping started in the summer. Some people said it was more like a hum, or a beep. But one thing is for sure, said Paul Quassa, a member of the legislature in the Canadian Inuit province of Nunavut: It’s “emanating from the sea floor,” he told his colleagues.

It’s also quite possibly scaring animals away, which is mainly why Quassa was so concerned. “That’s one of the major hunting areas in the summer and winter because it’s a polynya,” he told the CBC, referring to an area of icy water that normally makes for great hunting. But not since that pinging started. “And this time around, this summer, there were hardly any. And this became a suspicious thing.”

No one has any clue what the noise could be, but it’s caused so much speculation and alarm that the Canadian military is looking into it. “The Department of National Defence 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,” officials said in a statement to the CBC.

There are apparently a whole bunch of theories about what it could be, ranging from Greenpeace activists trying to save animals from being hunted (this sounds pretty absurd, and Greenpeace denies it) to secret submarines to oil exploration. Fossil fuel mining seems the most probable explanation to me. And if that’s the case, it would be a shame and it would be one more example of corporate profit taking priority over first Americans’ rights.

Indigenous people have been living there for 4,000 years, and yet they have a history of being pushed around. The first Europeans to visit believed they had a right to Inuit food, territory and natural resources. During the Cold War, because of its strategic proximity to Russia, the Canadian government evicted Inuit communities from their land and forced them to live in an unfamiliar landscape.

The ping seems to be yet another invasion.