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The Quietest Room on Earth

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Posted by Gary Pressley on April 5, 2018

Wish you could sit in the quietest room just to get some peace and quiet? Be careful what you wish for; it may drive you crazy.

The quietest place on earth is an anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota. The space is so quiet that the longest anybody has been able to bear it was an entire 45 minutes. 

It is 99.99 percent sound absorbent and holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s quietest place. The inside of the small room is lined on all six sides with deep, fiberglass wedges, a double wall of insulated steel and foot-thick concrete.

The room is so silent that the background noise measures negative decibels, -9.4 dBA. A typical quiet bedroom measures at 30 dBA.  The laboratory actually challenges people to sit in the chamber, in the dark. The quieter the room, the more things you hear. Your ears start to adapt to the quietness. You’ll hear your heart beating; sometimes you can hear your lungs, and hear your stomach gurgling loudly. You become the sound in the space, and it can become very disorienting, so disorienting that it can cause people to have trouble standing. The only way to stay in the space for an extending period is to sit.  

Not only is the anechoic chamber used to challenge people but companies also use it to find out how loud their products are such as heart valves, CPAP machines, and cell phones. NASA has also used it for their astronauts to help them adapt to the silence of space. 

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