It doesn’t exist. Just like cold and darkness don’t. Cold is simply lack of heat; darkness is lack of light. Quiet is lack of sound. It’s possible to attain true cold (Absolute zero) and true darkness (light happens to get sucked into black holes), but is it possible to reach absolute silence?

Research shows that it isn’t.

At least, on the earth.

Go to a quiet room somewhere in your house. Is it quiet? Naw. You can hear the heater. Clocks. And if you try really hard, you can probably hear the cars on the road outside.

Now try going to a remote location in the woods. Is it quiet there? Nope. Trees rustling in the wind. Animals scurrying across the dirt floor, shifting the plants they brush up against.

Where else is it quiet?

Some scientists created something called an Anechoic Chamber. Its walls, ceiling and floor are lined with sound-absorbent material. They say you’ll go crazy within an hour by just sitting there–it’s completely devoid of sound. But is it really?

Upon entering one of these rooms, composer John Cage observed that it wasn’t truly quiet. He claims he heard a low hum and a high-pitched whine. These actually turned out to be his cardiovascular and nervous systems, respectively. So even in a room that’s supposedly devoid of sound, you’ll still be hearing things.

Apparently space has sounds, too. But I don’t know as much about that. How can a vacuum carry soundwaves?

Why don’t you stick your head outside a space shuttle and find out? 😛


2 thoughts on “Silence

  1. Hahah very interesting! While reading I immediately thought of space as having no sound. Although, for us to even be in space, we need those suits. And just in those suits, even if we are completely isolated by ourselves in space, I would think we can still hear sound. That sound would be the same as what you mentioned in that chamber; like the blood I guess passing through your veins which you might hear in your head.
    I know that some people get paranoid or go crazy about this weird buzzing sound even when it’s real quite. I think they explained it as buzzing or high-pitched whines, as you have said. Thinking about this, I think many people probably experience this, including myself, but just do not think about it. Perhaps the surrounding noise overpowers this humming sound. But I personally think that there is no way of escaping this nonstop background noise – even if we are in space or a completely sound-absorbent room.

    • Oh man! I also just thought how deaf people may experience this humming sound. I don’t know if there are different types of “deafness,” but if there is one that affects the brain’s ability to take in and process information of sound, would that person even experience that humming sound? (I don’t even know if that made sense, though… Like maybe their brain doesn’t react to sound whatsoever, so the blood rushing through their body isn’t heard; even though that sound is from an internal source from their body.) I know that deaf people may have a better ability to feel vibrations, so just maybe they can detect those minute vibrations within their head that could quite possibly give them a similar effect as many “non-deaf” individuals experience?

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