Strange sounds: The mysterious “Kokomo Hum”

What is the mysterious Kokomo's hum? Some say it's like a diesel engine idling. Others describe it as a deep drone or fluorescent light-like buzz. And a great many people don't hear anything at all.


Complaints about the “Kokomo Hum” began in 1999, when a handful of local residents began to report a constant low-pitched rumbling noise. They say they developed a range of mysterious health problems soon after, including dizziness, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, nosebleeds, and excruciating, unending headaches.

But most people in this central Indiana town of 45,000 don’t hear anything at all.

Hum Complaints Met With Skepticism

Many Kokomo residents have been skeptical about reports of mysterious illnesses caused by a mysterious vibration, and local officials have done little to investigate. Here a documentary about this strange sound in Kokomo, Indiana:

Hums Reported from New Mexico to Scotland

The Kokomo Hum is far from the first such complaint about strange low-frequency noise and related health problems. The so-called “Taos Hum” in northern New Mexico drew international attention in the early 1990s, as residents there complained of a persistent deep droning noise and accompanying headaches and illnesses.

Nevertheless, people in dozens — perhaps hundreds — of communities around the world have claimed they have been sickened by low-frequency noises. There is the “Larg Hum,” in Scotland, the “Bristol Hum,” in England, and others in Japan, Scandinavia and elsewhere. Some have been supported by scientific data; others have not.

Cause of humming noise

The existence of low-frequency noises that cause nuisances is hardly controversial. Such sounds can be generated by turbines, industrial fans, compressors and other machinery.

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Some residents of Kokomo hear a mysterious humming noise called the “Kokomo Hum”. Photo:

The vibrations can travel a half-mile or more through the ground, causing dishes to rattle and a small subsection of the population to hear an annoying low drone. Adding insulation or adjusting equipment can often alleviate the problem.

Vibration Detected in Kokomo

In Kokomo, reputable experts say they have detected a low-frequency noise of some kind.

So could they be related to earthquales?

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