Canadian military investigates strange Arctic 'pinging,' only finds walruses

Locals have been reporting an unusual 'pinging' sound in the Arctic that reportedly scares animals and is strong enough to be heard through boat hulls. In light of these reports, Canada's military has set out to investigate and, hopefully, find an explanation for the pings. According to military officials, aircraft-based searches were carried out over the region in which the noise has been reported, but thus far no sources have been identified.

The Canadian military confirmed its probe in a statement to the BBC recently, saying it conducted "multi-sensor" searches earlier today but found only half a dozen walruses and a couple groups of whales. "The crew did not detect any surface or sub-surface contacts," according to the officials. That leaves locals wondering what's behind the unusual sound.

Reports about the pinging have been arriving over the past few months, with observers saying the noise is coming from within the sea. The affected regions lie in a water channel located in Nunavut, and first presented the sounds this past summer. The pinging — which is sometimes also heard as a beep or a buzz — were initially infrequent. The frequency has increased over past weeks, however, at least if reports are correct.

Speculation abounds, and includes rumors that activists may be producing the noise as a way to scare wildlife away from what is known to be fertile hunting ground. Others have accused mining companies of conducting sonar surveys, though they deny the claims. And others, finally, believe the military may be behind the noise for reasons unknown, but possibly related to submarines.

It is unclear whether the military will conduct additional probes in the future.