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Fun Fact January 10, 2020

10 January 2020


You’ve heard the phrase Silence is golden, but can it be harmful?  Silence certainly was the primary goal for those who built the quietest room in the world.  You’ll find this room at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The lab room measures a background noise of more than minus 20 dBA, which is 20 decibels below the threshold of human hearing.  That level of quiet breaks previous records for spaces that were deemed the planet’s quietest places.  “As soon as one enters the room, one immediately feels a strange and unique sensation which is hard to describe.  Most people find the absence of sound deafening, feel a sense of fullness in the ears, or some ringing. Very faint sounds become clearly audible because the ambient noise is exceptionally low. When you turn your head, you can hear that motion. You can hear yourself breathing and it sounds somewhat loud.”  That according to, Hundraj Gopal, a speech and hearing scientist and principal designer of the chamber at Microsoft.  If you were to visit the chamber you might find yourself completely disoriented, and even ill, hearing an amplification of blood rushing through veins, feeling with intensity the beating heart. Time spent in the chamber, often limited to well under 45 minutes, might be cut short once nausea or hallucinations kick in.  So too much silence can make you sick.


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