10:08 GMT +319 October 2019
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    A mysterious noise, seemingly coming from the Arctic seafloor near the hamlet of Igloolik, is driving away wildlife and has left locals baffled as to the source.

    The noise is alternately described as a pinging sound, a hum, or a beep, and has become such a problem for hunters that the Office of the Premier of Nunavut called on the Department of National Defence (DND) to investigate.

    “The Department of National Defence has been informed of the strange noises emanating in the Fury and Hecla Straights area, and the Canadian Armed Forces are taking the appropriate steps to actively investigate the situation,” DND spokesperson Evan Koronewski told Motherboard.

    Recently, mining and tourism has become more popular in the area, and some have speculated that the sounds are coming from operations being carried out by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation. The corporation denies that they have anything in the works that would make such a noise.

    "That's one of the major hunting areas in the summer and winter because it's a polynya," Paul Quassa, a member of the legislative assembly, told the CBC. A polynya is an area of open water surrounded by ice — which is usually abundantly inhabited by marine mammals.

    "And this time around, this summer, there were hardly any. And this became a suspicious thing."

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    The area is specifically known for bowhead whales — which has led some locals to accuse Greenpeace of trying to sabotage the hunting season.

    "We've heard in the past of groups like Greenpeace putting in some kinds of sonars in the seabed to get the sea mammals out of the way so Inuit won't be able to hunt them," Quassa said. No ships have been spotted in the area to substantiate these theories however.

    The organization also denies these charges.

    "Not only would we not do anything to harm marine life, but we very much respect the right of Inuit to hunt and would definitely not want to impact that in any way," Farrah Khan, a spokeswoman for the organization, told Motherboard.

    So far, the mystery continues and nobody has a clue what could be making the noise.

    "As of today, we're still working on it," another member of the legislative assembly, George Qulaut, told CBC. "We don't have a single clue."


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    Sea Mammals, Whales, Hunting, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation, Greenpeace, Department of National Defence, Canada, Arctic, Igloolik
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