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Written for The Times of India, published on the 15th of December, 2011.
This informative article is about the phenomenon of 'The Hum', which is one of the world's unresolved science mysteries.


Submitted:May 24, 2012    Reads: 15    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


How would you feel if you had this annoying "buzzing" sound at the back of your head all the time? When it's destroying your health while everyone around you seems to be perfectly at ease?

Well, that is exactly what 30% of the world's population has to face all year round with no remedy. Scientists have generalized this invasive phenomenon as 'The Hum'. Most victims describe their experiences as hearing a sound, similar to that of a diesel engine idling away at a distance or the drone of a distant aircraft, all the time. The mysterious part of this entire situation is that not everyone can hear this "humming" noise. While some people are driven crazy, others seem completely unaware of such a noise. Certain places like Taos in New Mexico and Kokomo in Indiana, both in the USA, Bristol in England, and Auckland in New Zealand experience the hum.

SYMPTOMS:

Victims of the hum commonly suffer from nosebleeds, sleeplessness, headaches and bodyaches. They are often nauseous and have great difficulty in concentrating. They are also plagued with heart palpitations, tension, fatigue, muscle spasms and a burning sensation all over.

A lot of people across the world have reportedly tried using earplugs to reduce the sound. Earplugs and soundproof windows, however, have increased the sound instead. The only explanation as to why such things would increase the sound is that once a person uses them, all other sounds become mute to the person. Hence, the hum is heard with a more magnified intensity becoming intolerable to the victim.

THEORIES:

Many research teams have been put up in the past for investigation. Never, has anyone come up with a single valid explanation as to why something like it could happen. In the past forty to fifty years, the Hum has plagued the life of over one thousand people in various geographical locations of the world.

Many scientists, over the decades have done serious research and have come to only a few explanations. Research scientists from the USArray Earthscope have discovered infrasonic sounds generated by colliding ocean waves off the northwest coast of the United States of America. Many scientists believe that these infrasonic waves could travel to many parts of the world. However, other scientists have denied this explanation to be invalid. The normal range of hearing for an average adult ranges from 20 Hz to 20 KHz. Tinnitus, on the other hand, is a sound generated by the auditory and nervous systems in the body without any external stimulus. This theory, however, fails to answer why the Hum occurs only in certain geographical locations and certain latitudes. After extensive research, a lot of people have said that the sound is worse indoors than outdoors, while others shun away such claims. Human ears hear their own noises called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. About 30% people in the world hear these sounds. However, scientists do not treat this theory with too much of importance.

The Hum proves to be one of the major unresolved mysteries of the world with an alarming rate of increase of victims every year. As more and more people are reportedly getting affected, it deserves more importance now than ever.

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