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When giant squid washed up ashore along Spain's Asturias province in the early 2000s, the events occurred suspiciously close to when ships had used air guns to conduct low-frequency sound-pulse exercises in the region, Ocean Leadership reports.
While the noises were a possible cause for the squids' deaths, it was not confirmed until a recent study completed by a marine bioacoustician at Barcelona's Technical University of Catalonia and his team.
We have known for some time that whales and other marine mammals which rely on sound for communication and navigation have been harmed by the noise pollution in the ocean — either by not being able to hear, and therefore find, one another, or by being so blasted by loud sounds that they beach themselves or are killed by the trauma caused inside their skulls.
The study showed that among specimens of two species of squid, one species of octopus and one species of cuttelfish exposed to low-frequency sound for two hours, all showed signs of damage to their statocyst tissue, with the damage becoming worse the longer after exposure the animals lived.
[Image via wikipedia.]