Science & Nature

Hum Phenomenon Theories And Affects

The Hum Phenomenon has been affecting a small group of people throughout the world. It’s a localized, persistent low frequency hum that has been a nuisance to residents everywhere from North America, Europe and Oceania.

Affects of the Hum

Commonly known as “the hum phenomenon”, it is sometimes referred to in terms of where it is located, such as the Taos Hum, Bondi Hum or the Bristol Hum.  Not everybody can hear it, but the “hearers” remarkably describe the hum in the same way. It appears to resonate at the 56 Hz frequency range. It doesn’t have a natural sound and by most accounts, the hum is reminiscent of a diesel engine running in the distance. The hearers claim that the sound intensifies if you’re indoors and the vibrations can be felt through the skin. To make matters worse, the continuous hum has caused the hearers to suffer from loss of sleep, dizziness, anxiety, irritability and in one circumstance, suicide.

hum phenomenon

Scientists Dr Fakhrul Alam and Dr Tom Moir record the hum in Auckland, NZ. Photo: Massey University

Although the hum is difficult to capture on audio, some of these mysterious hums have been identified. The hum on the Big Island of Hawaii is caused by volcanic activity. The hum in Kokomo, Indiana was traced to a DaimlerChrysler cooling tower fan emitting a 36 Hz tone and a Haynes International airport air compressor intake emitting a 10 Hz tone. But the other handful of world wide hums remains a mystery.

In 1993, the hearers of Taos, New Mexico petitioned Congress to investigate this unusual and most famous of hums. Their strongest theory was that the hum was artificially created by a United States Navy communication systems using ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) to communicate with submarines. In 1997, Congress directed a number of scientists from various respectable research institutes to look into this matter. Efforts to locate the cause of the hum were met with negative results.

Theories on the Hum Phenomenon.

  • Tinnitus has been ruled out simply due to the number of people who no longer hear the hum when they leave the localized area. Some individuals who have tinnitus and also hear the hum state the two sounds are qualitatively different.
  • Physics World, a monthly academic journal, attributed the Hum in Auckland, NZ as a result of the wind interacting with sand dunes.
  • Professor Rod Cross, Sydney University’s Dept of Physics, believes the hum may be from Earths hot interior gases and liquids making its way through cracks and cavities causing a pipe organ like effect.
  • Others claim the hum is due to the ever increasing amount of transmitters and electronic media that may be only be heard (or felt) by individuals with extremely sensitive hearing.

Other theories exist, some of which border on the extreme of possibilities.

The Toas Hum was aired on the television show Unsolved Mysteries and there is a mention of the Hum on the paranormal series The X-Files.

Click here to listen to an example of The Hum

References
Mystery Humming Sound Captured, Sydney Morning Herald
The Taos Hum
Wikipedia

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Jim Harper

Jim was born and raised in Naples, Italy. He created this website in December 2009 because of his fondness for historical mysteries. Since creating the website, Historic Mysteries has grown incredibly fast and more than 3,000 people visit this site daily. Thank you for stopping by and please bookmark this site.

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