Podcast: What Sounds Can’t I Hear?
by Ryan Schleeter
March 23, 2016
Check out episode 14 of Completely Optional Knowledge, the podcast that answers questions you never knew you had. Some things in life are #CompletelyOptional — satisfying your curiosity doesn’t have to be one of them.
Annie McEwen takes great pride in the range of sounds her highly sensitive ears pick up — things like the drop of a leaking faucet or the low hum of a household heater that others seem to miss. But she’s still only human and her ears have limits. So like a true audiophile, she’s wondering what sounds are out there that even she can’t pick up.
As it turns out, there’s a whole world of sound that we humans are “ear-blind” to (we use only the scientific terms here at Completely Optional Knowledge), much like there’s a whole spectrum of light waves that we can’t see.
Milton Garces of the University of Hawaii’s Infrasound Laboratory, who manages a program to track sounds that are imperceptible to the human ear, broke it down for us. And while Milton is a trained professional with a state-of-the-art lab, all it takes is an iPhone to track the infrasounds floating around you right now.
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