In some places on our world – Hawaii, Bristol in the UK, Taos in the US, Bondi in Australia, people have reported hearing a strange humming sound, also called the “hum”. The sound was described to be similar to a distant idling diesel engine, low and vibrant.
The sound is not audible to all people, perhaps because of it’s low frequency, and it’s hard to detect even with microphones. Most people hear the humming sound only inside of buildings, not outside – although some have reported that they only hear the hum inside their homes, not anywhere else. Many also experience vibrations felt through the body and earplugs don’t seem to make the hum less. Also, the hum is generally perceived more intensely during the night.
Scientists have not been able to find the source or nature of the hum and is still quite a mystery. An explanation offered by the scientists was that the people that experienced the hum might be suffering from tinnitus. However, this doesn’t seem likely because the hum is located only on certain locations and this doesn’t explain why some
people experience it more loudly inside than outside.
People that actually suffer from tinnitus and hear the hum describe the two sounds as being entirely different. A different team of scientists that researched the hum in Taos, New Mexico, came to the conclusion that the cause being tinnitus was highly unlikely.
Another explanation offered is spontaneous otoacoustic emissions, sounds produced by human’s own ears. About 30% of people hear these sounds. Most people that are aware of these sounds hear a low buzzing or ringing.
The last explanation offered is colliding ocean waves. Scientists have tracked down low infrasonic humming noises. These are produced by waves crashing together and on the ocean floor. According to these scientists, these sounds could be heard all around the world.
To me these explanations aren’t particularly satisfying. What do you think causes the hum? Why do people only hear it on these particular locations?
Write a max. 750 words flash fiction story on this strange phenomenon. Your story must be set in either Bristol, Bondi, Taos or Hawaii.
- Post the story on your blog and link us to it in the comments section of this thread
- Send your story to me at manoneileen (at) gmail.com
You have until Sunday. (Edited to add:) I will review all stories and then decide the winner – the winner’s work will be posted on this blog on Monday!
Can’t wait to read what you come up with Good luck!