The odd sounds detected by Russian submarines

Starting in the 1960s and continuing until the 1980s, sailors in Russian submarines patrolling the North Alantic and Arctic Ocean would occasionally hear strange sounds. These underwater noises reminded the submarine crews of frog croaks, so they called the sounds “quackers” (from the Russian word for frog sounds). The sources of the sound seemed to be moving with great speed and agility; however, the submarines’ sonar (a method of detecting objects underwater) was unable to detect any solid moving objects in the area. There are several theories about what might have caused the odd sounds.

The first theory suggests that the strange noises were actually the calls of male and female ocra whales during a courtship ritual. Orca whales are known to inhabit the areas where the submarines were picking up the bizarre noises. Orcas have been studied extensively, and the sounds they make when trying to attract a male are similar to those that the submarines were detecting.

A second idea is that the sounds were caused by giant squid. Giant squids are gaint marine invertebrates that live deep in the ocean and prey on large fish. They are difficult to detect by sonar because they have soft bodies with no skeleton. Not much is known about giant squid behavior, but their complex brains suggest they are intelligent animals. It is possible they have the ability to emit sound, and perhaps they approached the submarines out of curiosity.

A third theory suggests the Russian submarines were picking up stray sounds from some military technology, like another country’s submarines that were secretly patrolling the area. Perhaps the foreign submarines did not register on sonar because they were using a kind of technology specifically designed to make them undetectable by sonar. The strange froglike sounds may have been emitted by the foreign submarines unintentionally.

My answer:
The reading and the lecture discuss about what might have caused the odd sounds that were detected by Russian submarines while patrolling the ocean. The reading passage talks about several theories to present the possible causes of the odd sounds. However, the lecturer casts doubt on each of point made in the reading passage by provide supportive details.

To begin with, the reading states that according to one theory, the sounds were made by orca whale in order to attract male orcas. However, the lecturer states that it is true that the population of these orca whales were seen at the same location where Russian submarines were. Nonetheless, these orcas usually stay at the surface of oceans, and submarines stay deep in oceans. This way, it is impossible that the sound could reach deep in oceans where submarines were. This seems to be a contradiction to the information stated in the reading.

In addition, the reading claims that gain squid could be the other possibility of the odd sounds as they cannot be detected by sonar due to their soft bodies. However, the lecturer points out that Russian submarines noticed these sound from 1960 to 1980. On the other hand, giant squid lived in the past and are continuously living in the ocean. Thus, continuous present of the squid does not support the sudden appearance and disappearance of these sounds. This directly challenges the assertion stated in the reading.

Last but not least, the reading passage mentions that foreign submarines could be the cause of the sound. However, the lecturer points out that submarines cannot change the direction quickly, and the engine of submarines always make some noise. Thus, if there were secret submarines, Russian submarines would have detected it by the noise of the secret submarines. Furthermore, we still do not have any technology that can help submarines to change the direction quickly and make engine noiseless. Thus, this disputes the point made in the reading.

TOEFL listening discussions: Why does the student visit the registrar’s office?

Hi Chaitalivpatel, I thought you did an excellent job with this essay. You captured almost all the points from the lecture and communicated them very effectively. You had a few minor errors that did not reduce my comprehension, but I think might keep you from a perfect score. So I would rate this one a 4.5 out of 5.