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Washington City Paper needs your input

Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com
Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com

If any of you live near the DC area, please get in touch with Emily Dufton at emily.dufton@gmail.com. She is putting together a piece on the Worldwide Hum, and she needs your involvement.


  1. F.R. says:

    I dont live near Washington DC, but I do want to put inmy two cents right here. I realized just the other day that when I put my finger in my ear its stops the hum. The Hum has been getting worse and worse over the months in my opinion. And for some reason, I can only hear the hum in one ear. Obviously ear plugs do absolutely nothing whatsoever. But my finger in my ear (that I hear the hum in) works. Try it out. Those of you who hear the hum through both ears will need to use both hands obvioulsy. Im not sure why my finger does teh job but it does. The hum is so bad that I can hear it in the daytime when its quiet out.
    As I have stated before, water stops the hum. Putting my ear in a bowl of water competely stops it. Perhaps there is enough of liquid (blood and or water) in my finger that it is able to do the same. Resting my head on the palm of my hand does the same. None of this is comfortable enough to sleep doing, though. But I wanted to share my experiments.
    The hum must be some sore of electrical charge or something of that sort, because nomally water doesnt stop noise.

    • F.R. –
      Exactly how do you “put” a finger in your ear (details please). Is it a loose fit? You say earplugs “obviously” do not work. How does this follow “obviously”? If it is instead a pressure-sealing fit, you probably hear the throbbing of blood flow (and muscle contractions) that is widely discussed since high-school science classes.
      You said “normally water doesn’t stop noise.” Did you mean to say water doesn’t block SOUND? Actually, water (in the sense of an ear in a bowl of water) DOES virtually block sound. This is because a sound in air almost entirely bounces off the air/water interface (severe impedance mismatch). I guess there would be an equally severe attenuation as the sound emerges from the water back into the ear canal. Famously, sound in air striking the eardrum requires an impedance-matching transformer (the bones of the middle ear) to be transmitted to the fluid of the cochlea.
      So we might guess it really is an ordinary sound like a pump – EXCEPT for the fact that you only hear it in one ear. So the best guess is a rumbling (the Hum) in the middle ear. Any change of physical acoustics of the outer ear (finger or water bowl) could conceivably dampen the vibrations. Your case might be a valuable data point.
      Incidentally,to what pitch do you match your hum?

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