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10 Stories of Home Noises Driving People Insane

House noises can be annoying for homeowners, but this is next level.

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ear plugsPhoto: PreechaB/Shutterstock

What’s That Noise?

If you’ve never been able to pinpoint the exact location of a noise and seem to have a noise that never goes away, you might not be alone.

The noise is known as the “Hum” and it’s something people have been studying for a while. If you’ve got noises around the house that rise above a low hum, you’ll want to know these tips on how to eliminate them.

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The World Hum Map and Database Project

Sound Heard Around the World

Dr. Glen MacPherson started documenting occurrences of the sound throughout the world and it turns out around 2 to 4 percent of the world suffer from hearing the phenomenon of the “Hum.” He created a website that documents the phenomena with a map.

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No sleep noise humidifierAntonio Guillem/Shutterstock

What is the “Hum?”

Research suggests that the “Hum” could be the result of low-frequency electromagnetic radiation that only some people can hear. Other theories have posited that seismic activity can create low-frequency tremors. The “Hum” first got documented in scientific literature back in the 1830s and has gained more media coverage since the 1970s. An air conditioner can be one of the noisiest things around your home, here’s how to quiet it down.

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noiseArtOfPhotos/Shutterstock

Electrical Issue?

MacPherson, a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and a high school teacher of physics, mathematics and biology, started noticing a droning noise similar to a diesel engine idling. MacPherson thought it could be an electrical issue in his house so he shut off the mains to his home but the noise only got louder.

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noiseJRJfin/Shutterstock

Sickening Sound

Sue Taylor, a retired psychiatric nurse in Roslin, Scotland, started hearing the “Hum” back in 2009, according to a story in The New Republic. Taylor described the sound as a thick, low hum and thought it emanated from a local factory. But she started to get dizzy and nauseous and couldn’t find the source of the sound. When it got really bad it felt like her house was vibrating. If you’ve got a washing machine vibrating at home, here’s what you can do to eliminate the rattle.

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noiseElizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock

The Sound Remains the Same

The New Republic story also reported that Lori Steinborn, who lives in Tavares, Florida, started hearing a noise back in 2006. She thought it was the neighbors blasting music. She eventually started leaving town to get away from the sound but every time she returned, so did the sound. If you’ve got a noisy neighbor, here’s what you can do.

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ear plugsAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Industrial Noise

In 2003 a complaint of the “Hum” in Kokomo, Indiana, led to an investigation by the town’s government. It found that two industrial sites produced noise at specific frequencies. Even after the government took action to eliminate the noise but some residents continued to hear the “Hum.”

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decibel readerJRJfin/Shutterstock

Conspiracy Theories

The TV show Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura proffered, almost naturally, that the “Hum” worked as a form of a government mind-control device. A 1998 X-Files episode portrayed a similar phenomenon that caused spontaneous head explosions. The “Hum” was linked to Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people when he drove into the Washington D.C. Navy Yard. Authorities reported that a message on his computer said that “Ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last three months. And to be perfectly honest, that is what has driven me to this.” These are 10 tool myths you’ve believed for way too long.

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fishery ocean waterMichail Patakos/Shutterstock

Sounds Fishy

People traced the source of one instance of the “Hum” back in the 1980s in Sausalito, California when it was found that the mating sounds of a fish called the plainfin midshipman. The sounds of the fish penetrated the steel hulls of houseboats in the marina. The Windsor Hum tracked back to factories on Zug Island in Michigan.

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noiseRawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Very Low Frequency

The BBC explored the topic with a special series that focused on the Bristol Hum. And David Deming published a paper in 2007 that focused on Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio waves as the source. Militaries send out radio waves between 3 kHz and 30 kHz to communicate with submarines and those waves can penetrate up to an inch of aluminum, according to an article in The Conversation.

If you want the best sound for your home theater, then check out these helpful tips.