What is the Hum? (with photos)

“The Hum” is a low-frequency sound from an unknown source and can only be heard by certain people.

“The Hum” is a generic name for a common class of phenomena consisting of an invasive and persistent low-frequency sound from an unknown source. Furthermore, the phenomenon is only audible to certain people, existing at the lower end of the audio spectrum, with a peak power spectral density between about 10 and 60 Hz. Tinnitus is generally difficult to detect with microphones, although it has been on many occasions, and its source is difficult to locate. There has been some limited scientific research on the Hum, and its existence is well accepted. It is said to be heard louder at night and can cause great distress among “tinnitus sufferers”.

The hum heard on the Big Island of Hawaii is believed to be generated by underground volcanic activity.

Some locations that have reported this noise include Bristol, England, the Big Island of Hawaii (where its source is believed to be underground volcanic activity), the North Shore area of ​​Auckland in Taos, New Mexico, and several other locations. A specific hum is usually named after the area where it is heard, i.e. the “Hum Taos” or “Auckland Hum”. The Hum’s sound is often described as that of a diesel engine idling from a distance, although no such engine can be found. It may be audible in two locations tens of kilometers apart, but is usually located in a relatively small area.

The buzzing heard in certain areas, such as Taos, New Mexico, are nicknamed geographic names.

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Various explanations have been put forward for The Hum. In at least two locations, a mysterious and persistent low-frequency hum was investigated and then attributed to a known source: in Kokomo, India, where the sound was traced to a cooling tower emitting a 36 Hz tone and a air compressor inlet emitting a 10 Hz tone and on the Big Island of Hawaii, where a tone has been assigned to known volcanic activity. On Ilha Grande, the islanders point out that the sound is more heard by man, which makes sense, since the larger the animal, the more attuned it is to the lower frequencies, and it is known that man can hear lower frequencies. . sounds than women.

A low-frequency hum has been linked to volcanic activity.

Regardless of some cases where this noise has been explained, most of the time the source remains unknown, even after significant investigation. Once the obvious sources of sound (traffic, appliances, etc.) are eliminated, more exotic potential causes are often addressed, including sounds from distant industrial sources, infrasound from geological events, an auditory microwave effect from microwave emitters. industrial pulses, tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ears), spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (a subtle noise emitted by the human ear), and, more speculatively, ionospheric heating projects like HAARP in Alaska.

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