If you want an alternative to the video game soundtrack or ambient noise generator you usually listen to at work, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has got you covered. As Mashable reports, scientists there have set up a live stream of the deep ocean sounds recorded 18 miles off the coast of Monterey Bay, California.
The eerie noises of the ocean's depths are captured using an underwater microphone called a hydrophone, which scientists planted 3000 feet beneath the surface in 2015. For more than two years, researchers have used the instrument to eavesdrop on the activity taking place in the surrounding waters, and now they're giving the public the opportunity to do the same by streaming the recordings live on YouTube.
The audio (which is delayed 20 minutes for processing) mostly consists of white noise, but listen long enough and you'll eventually hear signs of life, both human and animal. The microphone picks up the moans of humpback whales, the squeaks of dolphins, and even sounds from the surface like wind, waves, and boats passing overhead. The high-pitched noises likely traveled no more than a few miles to reach the hydrophone, while lower sounds may have originated a much greater distance from where they were recorded.
The deep-sea recordings can help researchers better understand the secret lives of marine animals, but they can also provide a soothing soundtrack for anyone needing background music. If you aren't patient enough to wait for the live animal calls, you can visit MBARI's listening room to pick out individual audio tracks.