Monday, November 20, 2006

[auckland] that strange hum people are hearing

Here are some comments on that strange 56Hz hum that people have been hearing in and around Auckland: Dr Moir and his colleague Dr Fakhrul Alam have dubbed the sound an unidentified acoustic phenomena. "If this is indeed the hum, then it's acoustical and not electromagnetic." Another said it was like the humming of sand dunes; yet another thought it was like someone blowing over the top of an empty bottle. And yet again: "There could be some subtle natural geological organ pipes in the hills." Whatever, the sound remains a mystery. Do you have some explanation?


UK Daily Pundit said...

It's the woodpecker grid.

james higham said...

It could well be the Russian woodpecker but it could also be this:

Logix said...

I live in Wellington NZ. It is 5am in the morning. I have been hearing this hum for some years now although I cannot pinpoint exactly when I first became aware of it. However in the last 12 months or so it has become quite persistent.

Our home is directly under a flight path to Wellington's airport and my first reaction was that it was a distant prop driven freight plane droning it's way through the night sky. But it is not. It continues for hours and hours. Mostly I am aware of it inside, although it is still detectable outside. It is more apparent some nights than others. At times it is remarkably loud to me and it amazes me that my partner cannot hear it. Nor can our tenants who live in an identical unit next door.

Industrial grade earmuffs only slightly dampen it, however strongly blocking the ears with fingers or something like blue-tack will completely block it. On calm still nights it will be louder, but right now for instance it is quite gusty outside, (Wellington is a very windy place) and it has been audible all night.

Sometimes I can hear it in the daytime too, but the generally higher background noise then makes it harder to hear.

I have an Engineering degree and I have worked for 35 years plus as an automation engineer. I have diligently thought this through and tried to identify or eliminate many possible sources for the sound. There are no probably machine sources within several km.

Fortunately it does not cause me much distress, although I can well see how it might drive some people nuts. On the other hand I am VERY curious to know what it is, and if I would prefer to stop it if I could.

james higham said...

Logix, if you have no objection, I shall run your comment as a post tomorrow morning - it is more than interesting.