Strange Sounds Phenomenon: Why is “The Hum” Such a Mystery?


The hum is a strange vibrating noise. Why is it such a mystery?

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The hum strange sounds in Taos

According to sufferers, it is as if someone has parked next to your house and left the engine running. The Hum is a mystery low frequency noise, a phenomenon that has been reported across Britain, North America and Australia in the past four decades.

There is a range of theories from farm or factory machinery to conspiracy theories such as flying saucers. And yet, “the hum” remains an unsolved case.

What is The Hum?

The truth is no-one really knows the cause of “the hum”

“The hum” is a global phenomenon sending people crazy from the USA, to New Zealand and Canada. One case that was partially solved was in Kokomo, Indiana. The source of “the hum” was located to a fan and a compressor on an industrial site, and yet even after these were turned off some people complained the noise had not stopped.

The Largs Hum in Scotland and Bristol’s mystery noise in the 1970s are two of Britain’s most famous cases. Often the source of the noise is never found but disappears unexpectedly.

So who, what and why?

Despite research, no-one has conclusively proved the source of The Hum, although farm or factory machinery is most commonly cited.

The hum” is sometimes heard in cities but is more likely to be audible in the countryside and at night, when there is less background noise. Most complainants are people aged 50-60. The most plausible causes are industrial compressors and fans or farm machinery.

Not everyone appears to be able to hear it and recording equipment is sometimes unable to pick it up

Doctors believe that that sufferers’ hearing had become over-sensitive. It becomes a vicious cycle. The more people focus on the noise, the more anxious and fearful they get, the more the body responds by amplifying the sound, and that causes even more upset and distress.

As for the source of “the hum”, don’t expect a breakthrough anytime soon. It’s been a mystery for 40 years so it may well remain one for a lot longer!

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