The World’s ‘Quietest’ Room

The quietest place on Earth isn’t where you might expect. It’s tucked away in Orfield Laboratory, Minnesota, within their Anechoic Chamber. This chamber is engineered to absorb sound, creating an environment where even the slightest noise can feel overwhelming.

Inside, the ambient noise level measures at an unprecedented negative decibel of minus-24.9 dBA, making it below the threshold of human hearing. Visitors often report hearing the faint sounds of their own bodily functions due to the complete absence of external noise.

Steven Orfield, the lab’s founder, explains that extended exposure to such silence can disrupt one’s sense of balance and coordination, as the usual auditory cues are absent.

The chamber itself is constructed with a steel box suspended within another steel enclosure, lined with fiberglass ridges to neutralize soundwaves.

Beyond its scientific utility, the chamber has also attracted commercial interest, being used by companies like Harley Davidson to test noise reduction and by NASA to prepare astronauts for the silence of space.

For those curious about this unique experience, a visit to the Anechoic Chamber in Minneapolis comes at a cost. A one-hour session for up to four people is priced at $400, offering a rare opportunity to immerse oneself in absolute silence.

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