Sometimes, you need a little peace and quiet to stay sane. But it turns out too much quiet can drive you crazy- or at least make you hallucinate. That’s what scientists at orfield labs in Minneapolis have found by studying how subjects react in their anechoic chamber, also known as the world’s quietest room. The sound level in the room, which actually has the Guinness World Record, is -9 decibels, compared to the average “quiet” room’s 30.
That level of silence is just because the fact that the walls, floor and ceiling absorb all sound, rather than reflecting it, as most surfaces do. It’s so quiet, you can hear your own organs such as your heart, stomach, even your ears, which make a tiny amount of noise. It turns out that it’s not an especially pleasant experience, especially in the dark. The longest anyone has ever stayed in that room is for 45 minutes.
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