Ask The Fiddler #6: Hey, What”™s That Sound?

Filed under: Satire

fiddler-75Editor’s Note: Ask The Fiddler is a lifestyle advice column that aims to remedy more chaos and confusion than it creates. Questions may be submitted to us here at Art of the Prank, and good luck.

Dear Fiddler:

Do you hear a strange humming sound?

Charlie in Cincinnati

Dear Charlie:

Sure. My sources tell me it emanates from a secret enclave of chanting mystics hidden deep in the Himalayas.

But then, you could reasonably be a little suspicious of the sources of a guy who hangs out with the Art of the Prank crowd.

whsongs-200Well, there are plenty of other theories about the weird hum heard in many locations throughout the world. It has been blamed on everything from industrial or traffic noise to seismic disturbances.

As you might imagine, conspiracy theories abound. It”™s space alien communication or government mind control experiments.

Any other ideas?

Maybe it”™s in the ear of the beholder.

That”™s one medical theory. Some docs think it”™s an affliction because so few people hear the hum. Only about two percent of the population in hummy areas report hearing it. That leads some medical authorities to insist it”™s tinnitus.

But testing shows that many who report hearing it have perfectly normal hearing.

The sound is variously described as droning, or a low rumble.

It”™s not a good thing. The sound drives hearers to severe depression, wild distraction, and according to a few reports, suicide. According to news stories, many people have packed up and relocated to escape the torment.

Where does the hum come from? It”™s been reported as coming from the sky, others say it originates underground. There are researchers who say it is the result of vibrations created on the ocean floor.

Here”™s one of many stories that survey the situation, this one from Huffington Post.

Of course, the hum inspires jokers. A number of reports have been dismissed as hoaxes. YouTube seems to abound with them.

In one case, a college student got nearly 140,000 views for a fake “hum” video that took less than a minute to produce.

The faker was quoted in Discovery News as saying she made the video to show how easy it was, and as a warning to friends that “they shouldn”™t believe everything they see online…”

No argument on that point.

It is claimed that humming has health benefits for humans, restoring balance, bringing clarity and relaxing. So maybe the mega-hum is Earth”™s way of doing the same?

I mean, look at the world around us, all the natural and unnatural disasters. Doesn”™t it seem possible Mother Earth hums to get centered and chill out?

Well, I”™m putting my money on whales. “The Book of General Ignorance“ says the Blue whale makes the loudest noise of any animal, and it”™s low frequency hum can be heard by other whales 10,000 (ten thousand) miles away. I don”™t know about that. Typical reports put the range of whale sounds heard by other whales at around a hundred miles. Some of their sounds can be heard by humans.

If it is whales, why do they hum? Warning of us impending doom?

You can find a lot of pointy-head scientific answers.

But probably, like humming humans, they just forgot the words.

Yours truly,

The Fiddler

Remember our motto here at camp: “If you take advice from The Fiddler, you need advice.” Send comments and questions to: Art of the Prank.


The Fiddler is a creation of W.J. Elvin III