The quietest place on Earth can drive you crazy!

Need calm, relaxation, peace and serenity? What could be more ideal than a room where absolute silence reigns? This room is also so quiet that it could drive you crazy and all this can be explained in a scientific way!

In the premises of the Orfield laboratories located in Minneapolis (USA) there is an anechoic chamber (or anechoic chamber). This is considered to be an experimental chamber intended to measure acoustic (or electromagnetic) waves under free field conditions, i.e. without reverberation and therefore without echo, since the sound is absorbed here at 99.9%!

This room is quite simply the quietest place in the world and was measured at – 9.4 decibels, a real record obtained in 2005. This place is a real boon for NASA and musicians, but as a simple customer, it is possible to experiment there oneself a time of presence alone. A real challenge for anyone who ventures there, this anechoic chamber is a place where it is difficult to stay for more than a few tens of minutes.

“We challenge people to sit there in the dark – once someone sat there for 45 minutes. In the silence, the ears adapt. The quieter the room, the more you will hear. You will hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, your stomach gurgling loudly. In an anechoic chamber, you become the sound […] », explained in 2012 Steven Orfield, creator of this room, comments collected by the Daily Mail.

Particularly disturbing, the experience does not stop there and it is clear that your body is put to the test:

“We orient ourselves with the sounds we hear. In the anechoic chamber, you no longer have a single cue to balance and move. If you stay there for half an hour, you need a chair”, continues the person concerned.

If such a chamber exists, the reason lies in the noise study. Indeed, it is a question of evaluating devices or instruments with a fairly low noise level such as headphones, mobile phones, washing machines or even car doors. Musicians also come here to test their instruments.

Silence, taken to the extreme, could drive people mad and this notion interests NASA, which has its own anechoic chambers. The astronauts are tested there regarding the stress caused by absolute silence which can also cause hallucinations.

Orfield’s laboratories make their room available to the public for a few hundred dollars, including a tour of the laboratories and a host of explanations about this very special room. So if you spend a day near Minneapolis (state of Minnesota), why not give it a try?

Sources: Atlas Obscura – The Daily Mail – Slate

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