For 10 years, a 44-year-old man in Dartmouth, Massachusetts was in his own personal sound Hell. Manny Pavao had superior canal dehiscence syndrome, which means he could hear EVERYTHING his body did, all caused by a tiny hole in the bone that separates the inner ear from the brain.
He could hear his own heart beating, his lungs working, and the sound of his own voice sounded like it was coming out of a blown out speaker. Pavao even described the sound of his eyeballs moving to CNN affiliate WCVB as a grating sound, like “rubbing sandpaper on a piece of wood back and forth.”
Finally, FINALLY, after Pavao’s wife saw a feature about a woman with a similar rare condition – and how she cured it – he got something he had been missing: hope. And then the surgery.
So how long would you be able to handle hearing noises from your own body? Sounds kind of cool…but most people wouldn’t be able to last more than 45 minutes!
The quietest place in the world is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There’s a room at Orfield Laboratories that scientists created to be SILENT. It’s 99.99% sound absorbent, and when you’re inside, you hear NOTHING. Dead, absolute silence. And it can actually make you go INSANE.
The scientists have found that within 45 minutes of being in the room in the dark, people begin HALLUCINATING and BEGGING to be let out.
Some of the insanity comes because your ears adapt to the silence…so you only hear your own body. You hear your heart beating, your lungs, and your stomach, and that seriously disorients you.
The room is useful for product testing, where manufacturers can really find out how loud their products are. It’s also good to train astronauts, who encounter absolute silence in space.
The room has been certified by the people at Guinness World Records as the world’s quietest place.