Taos, New Mexico, is home to a peculiar occurrence known as The Taos Hum. Just about 2 percent of Taos’s entire population can hear this constant, low hum that emanates from an unidentified source day and night. The source of the Taos Hum is unknown, as is why just a tiny portion of the population in some locations is affected by this sound.
As a result, they suffer agonizing headaches, concern, and panic. While some people just experience a slight hum, others find it unpleasant. Several people contend that their restless nights are caused by the enduring hum. The locals think it’s the earth trying to get their attention. This constant noise appears out of nowhere and afflicts individuals who hear it day and night without letting up.
The town of Taos, in north-central New Mexico, is the most well-known location of this mysterious hum; and was the subject of this paper published by Joe Mullins, professor emeritus of engineering at the University of New Mexico. Residents voiced their concerns to Congress about the maddening noise, resulting in a public study.
But, the study did come up with some fascinating results: The main issue was that no one heard a single distinct hum. Instead, the respondents to the study identified a variety of humming sounds, including whirring, hums, and buzzes. Elevated electromagnetic field levels were the only unexpected activity seen, although it was found that they were caused by nearby power lines.
The Taos Hum’s true source has never been found. Taos is not the only place, though, where this peculiar occurrence occurs. For instance, there are the hums from Taos, New Mexico; Bristol, England; and Largs, Scotland.
Only 2 percent of Taos residents were found to be “hearers,” or people who were unlucky enough to notice the hum, according to a poll of the city’s residents. Oddly, sensitive equipment for measuring noises and vibrations was installed in the houses of a few of the “hearers,” but after rigorous testing, nothing remarkable was found.
1. Is The Taos Hum Real?
In 1973, a report was published in New Scientist magazine which mentioned a strange University study. The study in question centered around fifty cases of people complaining about hearing a ‘low throbbing background noise’ that others were unable to hear.
The peculiar sound was described as always peaking between 30 and 40 Hertz, only being heard during cool weather with a light breeze, and usually early in the morning. These cases were mainly confined to a small 10 km wide area.
This report seemed to go under the radar for the next decade or two, and the bizarre hum came back into public knowledge when a paper was published in the early 90s on the phenomenon.
The first suspected source of the hum, as in the instance of the Kokomo Hum in the United States, is typically industrial machinery.
Leventhal once linked the noise to the central heating unit in the adjacent building.
High-pressure gas lines, wireless communication equipment, electrical power lines, and many other sources are among the various hypothesized sources of the hum. Just a few times have mechanical and electrical sources been connected to hum.
First thought to be a disorder consistent with the high-pitched ringing of tinnitus, doctors have become puzzled by patients’ accounts that they can move freely toward or away from the phantom sound.
At St. Joseph’s College in the United States, anatomy and physiology professor, Steve Lannuccilli says, “They describe it as maybe a low rumble of a diesel engine or maybe a really loud refrigerator noise.”
Also, while the sound is consistently described by everyone who claims to hear it, the loudness varies considerably. For some, it’s a little irritating, but for others, it’s a terrifying nightmare. Moreover, Steve Lannuccilli says, ” It ruins people’s lives because they can never get away from the sound.”
Some scientists theorize that the hum could be caused by regional seismic shifts, while others blame low-frequency radio signals used by the military at classified sites in the desert.
2. Have You Heard of ELF Technology
If you want to go down the conspiracy route, some people talk about the U.S. Military using ELF technology. ELF technology could also be used against your enemies as a type of warfare where it will cause headaches, it will cause noises to be heard in the ears and ringing in the ears, and it will drive your enemies crazy if you make the frequency perfect to where it irritates them.
Others still cite the Navajo, Apache, and Hopi Teachings, which describe the hum as the music of long-dead spirits attempting to communicate with us from beyond, as their source of information.
New Mexico is one of those areas that’s still rich in the culture of Native Americans, and they believe it’s the earth. the earth is talking to you. In the end, we may never truly understand the origin or meaning behind the sound, and it seems those affected must resign themselves to its effect or uproot their entire lives to move away from it, but somewhere, resonating in the depths beneath the surface, the unseen source continues to faithfully hum for anyone who will listen.
Few studies have examined the problem and the few that have do not provide clear solutions. There are scores of other cities, big and small, where some locals say they can hear odd sounds. There may be more than one explanation for unidentified sounds, just as there may be more than one reason for strange lights in the sky or along the skyline. The explanations for the strange sounds, which range from a high-pitched screech to a quiet murmur to a subtle rumbling, are almost as diverse as the sounds themselves.
Many of these strange noises were finally put to use, yet some are still puzzling. For instance, in Borneo in 2012, locals claimed to have heard strange roaring or snoring noises that started extremely early in the morning and continued for a few hours until daybreak. It occurred twice in a row, terrifying and perplexing the locals. When the unexplained noises were investigated, it was discovered that a local firm was testing its boiler while the business was shut down.
An unexplained, fleeting “loud droning,” “unearthly” sound reminiscent of the sci-fi movie “Independence Day” was heard in the skies over Coventry, England, in February 2014. Residents were perplexed for miles, but it was subsequently discovered that an unobserved airplane was to blame. Residents of Windsor, Ontario, started to notice an intermittent hum around 2011. This hum occasionally persisted for many hours at a time. Following numerous citizen concerns, including multiple allegations of health issues, the Canadian government commissioned a study to investigate the issue in 2013.
The Windsor hum was confirmed to be a real sound by a team of researchers led by Colin Novak, an associate professor of engineering at the University of Windsor. This sound was an acoustic wave that traveled through the air at a frequency of roughly 35 hertz. It was a little more difficult to identify its true source. The scientists believe that it was most likely produced in a blast furnace at a U.S. Steel facility on Zug Island, a commercial area located approximately southwest of Detroit, Michigan, and just across the border from Windsor. Although they can’t be certain.
According to Novak, a specialist in the subject of psychoacoustics, Although we never discovered the conclusive smoking gun, all the evidence tends to point to that being the source, said the researcher. I wish we could have continued the investigation a little bit more. On the US side, however, neither the government nor the business community cooperated. After then, the political landscape in Canada changed, and the newly elected party showed less interest in pursuing it.
In any case, tales of the Windsor hum appear to have stopped after U.S. Steel shut down the factory in 2020. Those in other locations who are troubled by the hum are still looking for solutions. Health issues may often be brought on by low-frequency sounds, and this perplexing hum is no exception. Those who hear hums describe experiencing nausea, headaches, weariness, and memory loss.
As usual, there is a variety of opposing hypotheses regarding what is causing this annoying and widespread noise. It’s crucial to keep in mind that sound surrounds us. There are undoubtedly hundreds of explanations for the majority of it, most of which go unnoticed until we start paying attention to it.
Despite the lack of agreement on a clear explanation, the majority of academics are fairly confident that The Taos Hum exists. As was the case in Bristol and Kokomo, industrial equipment is frequently the first factor suspected as the cause of The Taos Hum.
High-pressure gas pipes, electrical power cables, and wireless communication equipment are among more explanations that could apply. The Hum may also be caused by low-frequency electromagnetic radiation, which is only audible to some persons, according to another idea.
3. What No One Tells You
Other environmental elements, such as seismic activity like microseisms, which are extremely faint, low-frequency tremors that can be produced by the action of ocean waves, have also been implicated. The West Seattle Hum is related to another, stranger possible cause. They believed it to be related to the toadfish, also known as the midshipman fish.
On the west coast of the United States, in Sausalito, California, it was discovered that a prior hum was the male midshipman’s mating call. Yet, in that instance, the hum was impacting the occupants of the houseboats because it was echoing through their hulls.
The University of Washington researcher in the West Seattle case concluded that any resonating hum conveyed through tanker or boat hulls could not possibly be transported very far inland, certainly not far enough to account for the complaints. The Scottish Association for Marine Science proposed that a similar “sonic” fish might be responsible for the nighttime humming sound observed at Hythe, Hampshire in the UK. Since such species are uncommon in UK inshore waters, the council deemed this to be doubtful.
The inner world of personal experience, rather than the outward world of industries and large machinery, is where many scholars contend that the solution to the Taos Hum conundrum may be discovered. What flavor does your tongue have? What scent does your nose have? What sounds do you hear in your ear?
These are not pointless, trivial questions, but rather they might contain some of the solutions. Our ears occasionally make noises that we are unaware of. We don’t hear them until it’s very quiet or if we’re paying close attention, and that’s because the sounds are subtle (and because most people are constantly surrounded by sound, whether it’s from music, television, video games, or just a usual noisy city life).
Known as spontaneous otoacoustic emissions, this phenomenon is distinct from auditory conditions like tinnitus, which produces ear ringing. It might clarify some of the reports from “hearers.”
4. Unpopular Conspiracy Theories
4.1. Undersea Communications or Military Experimentation
Some people think that undersea communications or military experimentation are what caused the Hum. Conspiracy theorists frequently target HAARP, the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program. Some suspect that this government organization, which studies the ionosphere of Earth and modifies weather patterns, also conducts experiments that cause the Hum.
It was also intriguing that so few people claimed to have heard the Taos Hum; possibly those who claimed to have heard it were “super hearers” with extraordinarily sharp hearing, as opposed to the other 98 percent of Taos residents.
4.2. Auditory Hallucination
Alternatively, it’s also plausible that the hum is only an auditory hallucination considering its mild influence in so few persons. Such hallucinations may just be the outcome of regular (and safe) psychological and physiological processes and do not necessarily signify any type of mental illness or disruption.
Oliver Sacks, a neurologist, has written extensively on both visual and auditory hallucinations in his books “Hallucinations” and “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” for instance (2012). Several people who claim to have heard the Taos Hum have even claimed to have done so after leaving the region.
Sadly for those impacted, there is little interest in sponsoring such esoteric study because so few people can hear the noise. It appears that the reason for this strange phenomenon will never be determined. Unexplained does not necessarily imply unexplainable, though, and further study might shed some light on this. The Taos Hum may be real, though its origins are still unclear, and it’s also possible that it merely exists in the ears and thoughts of those who describe it.
For now, The Taos Hum mystery will remain a mystery.
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