OFF THE RECORD

Only 2% Of The Human Population Can Hear This Mysterious Sound And No One Understands Why

All over the world for decades now, people have reported a very strange “humming” noise that doesn’t seem to have an identifiable origin. To some, it’s a nuisance. To many others, it’s unnerving and maddening. Even more interesting: most people can’t hear it.

The humming appears all over the world. Most notably, Bristol in southern England and Toas, New Mexico play host to the strange humming sound. And strangely enough, only about 2% of the human population is able to hear it.

The town of Taos, in north-central New Mexico, has been home to many famous residents including Julia Roberts, Dennis Hopper, D.H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley and Donald Rumsfeld. It’s a small, laid-back artsy community that is also home to an unusual mystery: a resident hum of unknown origin, the so-called “Taos Hum.”

A variety of theories have been offered as an explanation, ranging from the mundane to the fantastic, the psychological to the paranormal. Stoned hippies, secret government mind control experiments, underground UFO bases and everything in between have been blamed.

The hum seems to have first been reported in the early 1990s. Joe Mullins, a professor emeritus of engineering at the University of New Mexico, conducted research into the Taos Hum. Based on a survey of residents, about 2 percent of the general population was believed to be “hearers,” those who claimed to detect the hum. Sensitive equipment was set up in the homes of several of the “hearers,” measuring sounds and vibrations but after extensive testing nothing unusual was detected.

Many researchers suggest that the answer to the Taos Hum mystery may be found in the inner world of personal experience instead of the outer world of factories and heavy equipment. What does your tongue taste like? What does your nose smell like? What does your ear sound like? These are not silly, simple questions but instead may hold part of the answer.

Even though we don’t notice it, our ears sometimes create their own noises. And because the sounds are subtle (and because most people are constantly surrounded by sound, whether it’s music, television, video games, or just a typical noisy city life) we don’t hear them until it’s very quiet or we are listening carefully. This phenomenon, called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions, is different than auditory disorders such as tinnitus, which causes a ringing in the ears. It might explain some of the “hearers” reports.

The fact that only a tiny percentage of people claimed to hear the Taos Hum was also puzzling; it’s not that the other 98 percent of the Taos population had poor hearing, but instead perhaps that those who heard the hum were “super hearers” with unusually keen hearing. Or, it is also possible that, given such a weak effect in such a few number of people (and whose descriptions of the hum do not always match up) that the hum is merely an auditory hallucination.

Such hallucinations do not necessarily indicate any sort of mental illness or disturbance, but may simply be the result of common (and harmless) psychological and physiological processes. Neurologist Oliver Sacks, for example, has written extensively on both visual and auditory hallucinations in his books “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain” (2007) and “Hallucinations” (2012). Some of the Taos Hum hearers have even reported hearing it after they have moved out of the area.

As always in science, “unexplained” does not mean “unexplainable.” Countless things about the world around us were initially mysterious and unexplained (from the causes of germ-borne disease to the nature of lightning), but were eventually explained through research and science. It’s possible that the Taos Hum is real, and its true origins remain unknown, and it’s also possible that the hum only exists in the minds and ears of those who report it.

What do you think it is?

Sources of information:

http://www.livescience.com/43519-taos-hum.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/home/ovc-20180349

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Nick

    March 19, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    This might be bigger than we think!

    I know as an Electronics student about LORAN: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LORAN

    I don’t see any specs about signal emissions power on Wikipedia page.

    Also do some research on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHAYKA

    See the signal strength on those.

  2. Nick

    March 19, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    Last one. If number of reportings drops from 2016. you will know…

    In November 2009, the USCG announced that LORAN-C is not needed by the U.S. for maritime navigation. This decision left the fate of LORAN and eLORAN in the U.S. to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.[25] Per a subsequent announcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, in accordance with the DHS Appropriations Act, terminated the transmission of all U.S. LORAN-C signals on 8 February 2010.[1] On 1 August 2010 the U.S. transmission of the Russian American signal was terminated,[1] and on 3 August 2010 all Canadian signals were shut down by the USCG and the CCG.[1][2]

    The European Union had decided that the potential security advantages of Loran are worthy not only of keeping the system operational, but upgrading it and adding new stations. This is part of the wider Eurofix system which combines GPS, Galileo and nine Loran stations into a single integrated system.

    However, in 2014, Norway and France both announced that all of their remaining transmitters, which make up a significant part of the Eurofix system, will be shut down on 31 December 2015.[26] The two remaining transmitters in Europe (Anthorn, UK and Sylt, Germany) will no longer be able to sustain a positioning and navigation Loran service, with the result that the UK announced its trial eLoran service would be discontinued from the same date.

  3. JoAnn Smith

    March 21, 2016 at 12:04 AM

    It sounds like an electrical magnetic sound to me.

  4. Vladimir Cogurik

    December 25, 2016 at 5:37 AM

    It is sound of a Earth. rotation thro orbit .

  5. CV

    December 25, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    I listened to it and it sound more to me like little tiny bells ringing.

  6. Julie

    April 17, 2017 at 2:33 PM

    Thank God I found this article! This “hum” has followed me for years! To me it definitely sounds like a Diesel truck idling. I walk around the house trying to find the source and when I go in one direction, it sounds like it’s behind me. When I turn to move in that direction the sound also changes direction. I am so thankful just to be validated that others hear it too! Whenever I hear it I ask whomever is with me at the time if they can hear it too and they don’t. It’s been frustrating. But again, at least now I know I’m not alone in hearing this sound.

  7. Liam

    April 18, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Is there any explanation why sometimes we hear a high frequency that’s occur randomly? Not dangerous though but enough to covered my ear when it happenend.like a hum but higher pitch.

  8. Rod

    April 18, 2017 at 8:59 PM

    I heard 3 sounds … very low, very high … and with like a “wave”.

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