The Quietest Place On Earth Is Minus Decibels

The Quietest Place On Earth Is Minus Decibels

The sound of silence is one that few people truly know, but there is a place you can go if you’d like to get acquainted. Be warned, however, that the deafening hush of the place can cause you to become oddly disoriented, and it’s thought that no one is able to last more than an hour in this creepy sound void.

Holding the Guinness World Record for the quietest place on Earth, the anechoic test chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis has a background noise level of -24.9 decibels. By comparison, the average whisper clocks in at a booming 30 decibels, while the faintest sound detectable to the human ear is around zero decibels.

The word anechoic means ‘without echo’, and it’s this complete lack of sound reverberation that makes the room so horribly silent. The effect is achieved thanks to a series of fiberglass wedges that cover the walls, floor and ceiling, breaking up and stifling any sound waves that dare to arise within the space.

Thick layers of brick and steel serve to soundproof the room, while springs separate the chamber from the surrounding building to ensure that no external vibrations have a chance to intrude. 

According to designer Steven J. Orfield, those who enter the chamber are able to hear their own heartbeats as well as the machinations of their internal organs. Being able to see walls without hearing any echoes, meanwhile, can throw one’s senses completely out of whack, resulting in a loss of balance and a general feeling of intense unease.

Orfield says it’s impossible to remain in the chamber for more than half an hour without needing to sit down, and that even the assistance of a chair can’t make the place bearable for much longer than that.

Like the Orfield Lab, the anechoic chamber at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, boasts an ambient sound that is far quieter than complete silence. With a minimum level of -20.6 decibels, the room previously held the record for the world’s most noiseless place, and the two have been locked in a back-and-forth competition for the title for a number of years.

Yet these mute spaces were not just built for prestige, and do actually serve a number of valuable functions. For instance, manufacturers who want to know exactly how much noise their products make use anechoic chambers to take readings in the complete absence of background sound, while astronauts sometimes enter these eerily quiet rooms to help prepare themselves for the silence of space.

At least in here, their screams can be heard.

Source link



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Social Media

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.