The Strange Rumbling That Drives People Insane

By Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor) | October 30, 2006 6:00 pm

Something is making a very low-pitched sound that is annoying people with acute hearing in Auckland, New Zealand. What’s making this rumble? Well, that’s million-dollar question—no one knows. Scientists (like those pictured at right) have been using funny-looking devices in an effort to find the source of this “Unidentified Acoustical Phenomenon.” This story may seem silly (especially when we see one ingenious scientist cupping his hand to his ear), but for those who can’t get away from the insistent noise, it can apparently be horrible:

Dr Moir said one sufferer, a man, was so desperate to stop hearing the sound that he deliberately tried to damage his own hearing by cranking up a chain saw close to his ears. “He said it was so bad, he couldn’t stand it. It was driving him mad.”

One scientist says he suspects it’s “gas pipes, sewerage pipes, [or] factories in the distance,” but we’ve not heard any confirmation on that. Stay tuned, as DiscoBlog will bring you the exciting conclusion of Unidentified Acoustical Phenomena as soon as we “hear” something…

  • Tina

    I also hear that strange rumbling sound. It sounds like an jet going overhead, at times. Sometimes it sounds like a low running generator. I do not know what it is. My dad does not hear it. I take bobby pins and dig in my ear thinking it might be fluid build up and I am hoping that digging in my ear will relieve the pressure if there is fluid. That does not make it any better. I wish I knew.


  • anon

    I here it in kentucky sometimes, and family members hear it it Californa, it sounds almost like a diesel engine ideling in the distance, that continues constantly. I usually hear it when I am getting ready to go to bed.


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