January 2017: The Hum

Happy New Ear –  I mean Year – everyone ! I wasn’t sure what this month’s blog would be about until a few nights ago when I was in bed and suddenly heard a weird humming noise around midnight. At first I attributed it to my ceiling fan, but realized it wasn’t on. It sounded faintly like a car engine idling, a low frequency vibration I could almost feel.  I got up and peered out my window blinds, but no one was parked nearby at my neighbors’ with their car running. It wasn’t coming from my refrigerator either. Hmmm. Or more like a hum. I’d been hearing it off and on where I live in Hawaii for the last couple months, but this time it was particularly loud. Could it be emanating from some underground migration of magma ? After all, Hawaii was formed (and still is forming on the Big Island) from volcanoes, and I’m surrounded by dormant ones here on Kauai. So I looked it up. According to Wikipedia, this “Hum” has been heard and documented in Taos, NM as well – and New Mexico abounds with volcanic mountains. But this “hum” has also been heard in the UK. The sound has been recorded at both locations between 32-80 Hz. Men and women report hearing the sound in equal proportions. At first glance, the ability to hear it seems age-related, with middle aged persons reporting it in higher numbers. But does this mean we can attribute the hum to tinnitus alone ? Apparently there is more evidence than that to support an external source of the Hum.

The rotation of our planet is actually slowing down according to Roger Bilham, a scientist at the University of  Colorado Boulder. This slowing of the Earth’s rotation may trigger earthquakes and puts additional stress on the edges of tectonic plates as they shift. The associated movement of magma flows may cause the hum. Circumstantial evidence along these lines is promising, but this is as yet unproven speculation. Spar Webb, a scientist at Columbia University says the Earth is “ringing like a bell all the time,” with ultralow frequencies recorded from Antarctica to the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Waves colliding or crashing simultaneously in rhythm on shorelines worldwide is another theory about what may trigger the hum.

Even lightning storms releasing electromagnetic bursts into the ionosphere may be causing the vibrations, according to one theory. Schumann resonances are global EM resonant frequencies generated by discharge of lightning into the area between the ionosphere and the surface of the Earth.  The finite dimensions of our planet allows this area, or waveguide, to act as a resonant cavity. Schumann resonances are used to study everything from worldwide lightning activity, sprites and upper atmospheric lightning to global warming and earthquake prediction.

But whatever – or whoever – is causing this Hum, please make it stop ! I’d like to get a good night’s sleep for once.

Mme. G

 

REFERENCES

en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann_resonances

en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hum

mysteriousuniverse.org/2017/12/researchsuggestsearthsmysterioushummay be caused by ocean waves/

www.livescience.com/60989-slow-earth-rotation-triggers-earthquakes.html

www.crystalinks.com/hum.html

 

 

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