Barisal (bərĭsälˈ) [key], city (1991 pop. 170,232), S Bangladesh, on the Ganges River delta. It is an important river port, a transshipment point for jute and rice, and a market for betel nuts and fish. There are also flour, rice, oilseed, and jute mills. Barisal has 15 colleges affiliated with the Univ. of Dhaka. The "Barisal guns," unexplained sounds resembling distant thunder or cannon, are a curious local phenomenon; they may have a seismic origin.