A calm, blue ocean can seem peaceful from a distance. Beneath the waves, however, bursts a cacophony of sound, the loudest and most disruptive of which are man-made, a form of noise pollution that disorients fish, mammals and other creatures.

Anthropogenic noise — sound generated by human activities including shipping, transportation, sonar communication, military activity and energy exploration — can seriously disturb the behavioral patterns of marine life. Other environmental hazards aside, consider just the noise generated by the discovery, construction, production operations and maintenance of the offshore oil site seen in this photo.

The ocean may be vast, but so is the presence of humans. That means that we have an effect on a broad variety of creatures at different levels of the food web. Ahead of the May 19 premiere of “Sonic Sea” on the Discovery Channel, explore some of the different ways noise pollution disrupts the lives of marine animals.

Sonic Sea — Trailer – YouTube