Silence

When I was a kid we had these comic series of Donald duck, Mickey and friends. And in one of the stories was about Scrooge McDuck which was Donald Duck’s rich uncle. One day McDuck narked by all the city noise, people at the office; he needed some peace of mind. Silence what he was looking for. So he bought a small device that sucks all the ambient noise. The story of course took another turn but the idea stuck. Googling and researching I came that a concept such as that is better off the hands of people. 

In 2004 a Guinness world Record was achieved by the Orfield laboratory in South Minneapolis to have the “Quietest Room on Earth” or whats called “anechoic chamber” it had a decibels of -9.4 dBA [the human ear can pick up to 0 dBA]. In other words this room could absorb 99.999% of the sound. As side effects of this complete silence causes hallucination, headaches, irritations and psychological problems driving the subject to complete madness. But why? we cry out for silence, we run from urban areas and huge cities to suburb, farm house to relax and enjoy the silence. But when we are handed pure silence we reject it and get irritated? 

Biologically speaking it is explainable. The normal human ear when not receiving any stimulation [silence] it starts to vibrate creating its own noise. That is the ear way of filling up space as it is repressible for the orientation [space coordination] of the human body as it picks up sounds and combined with visual feedback it creates this 3D map of the human body space position and orientation. In addition to keeping the human brain aware of its surrounding. So if we were placed in a sub -9.4 dBA room our ear would start to create/vibrate and emit its own noise. We normally don’t hear it because a quite room [ex: library] is 30 dBA so it would be impossible to pick it up [exception some medical conditions] The other things is that our own body creates its own noise from heart beats, stomach digestions, blood rushing through veins, and even breathing. These sounds propagate through the body [bones] and gets picked up by the ears. 

As for the hallucination it is the creation of the brain. Thats where the term boredom comes from; as the brain finds a constant or no new stimulations it starts looking to create its own. So it hallucinates, from voices to visual hallucination. 

So by providing the silliest wish of total silence the human body feel claustrophobic and disoriented. Sometimes we wish for things, work day and night and do our ultimate best to get them but end up empty handed, and that’s not because we did something wrong or did not work hard enough. but because sometimes things are not the best solution for us. As our anatomy does not adapt to total silence, we must understand that we want inner silence and not ambient silence. 

Reference: 

– Guinness World Record: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2124581/The-worlds-quietest-place-chamber-Orfield-Laboratories.html

– Our brain on silence: http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/this-is-your-brain-on-silence

– Anechoic Chamber: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anechoic_chamber

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