No, this is nothing to do with the 2018 horror hit A Quiet Place.
Although if you, like me, were a fan of A Quiet Place, I’m sure there were times when you thought living a life full of peace and quiet wouldn’t actually be that bad.
Well what if I was to tell you that there is an actual place quieter than A Quiet Place?
And that it will drive you crazy rather than zen you out?
At the Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota, there is an anechoic chamber that is the quietest place in the world.
In fact, it is so quiet that nobody has been able to bear the sound, or rather the lack of, for longer than 45 minutes.
Inside the Chamber.
The room’s interior is so silent that its background noise has a negative decibel output at -9.4 dBA.
To put that into perspective, the general background noise of an urbanized area like a city varies from 60 – 70 dBA, whereas in a rural countryside area the decibel output is typically 29 dBA.
The lab’s founder, Steven Orfield said:
“We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark – one person stayed in there for 45 minutes. When it’s quiet, ears will adapt. The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You’ll hear your heart beating; sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly. In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.”
A Disorientating Experience.
So for a normal person going into this room, the whole experience is very disorientating.
People have trouble standing or sitting within the room, as well as navigating the room or maintaining their balance.
The daunting lack of noise makes it near impossible to orient yourself as you walk in the anechoic chamber, as we humans rely very heavily on subconscious audio cues to navigate when walking.
As Steven Orfield said: “You take away the perceptual cues that allow you to balance and maneuver. If you’re in there for half an hour, you have to be in a chair.”
Other than driving people insane, this chamber is used by companies to test how loud their products are.
As well as this, it’s used by NASA astronauts in training to help them adapt to the silence of space.
So are you sure you still want that peace and quiet? Are you?
Well I guess it turns out it might actually send you crazier than all that constant hustle and bustle!