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March 14th, 2010

March 14, 2010 12:27 PM 3/14/10

Does anybody know what the Taos Hum is? If not I suggest you go look it up right now.

My wife and I purchased our house in 2008 on Feb 28th of that year. Since moving in I’ve often been woken up around 3:30 am every morning to the sound of what I assumed was a diesel-electric train at a distance idling at a high RPM.

Any trains are at least a couple of miles away so I could never figure out where the sound was coming from. I went so far as to turn off all devices in the house one night while everyone was asleep (sorry honey!) to no avail. The noise was actually louder in the house rather than outside.

So I’ve been living with this thing for two years without having a clue and suffering from insomnia and a number of other things. More than once the sound has prevented me from sleeping. Worse yet my wife can’t hear it. (In the last few months it seems to have gotten a little louder.)

Today I finally found out I’m not alone.

I was looking through a Slashdot article on the robotic sub ABE that sank and someone posted a link to a Wikipedia article about The Bloop:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloop

That’s a sound heard under the ocean that is unexplained. That led me to the important link about The Hum:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hum

This is a repeating low-frequency sound heard all over the world in different places that sounds among other things...like a diesel engine in the distance.

This explains quite a bit and makes me feel so much less like I’m crazy than before. Here’s another tidbit - my daughter often wakes up around 3:30 am as well. I’m betting she hears it too. (Questioning her is dubious because of her autism but she has said yes.)

And I can even theorize why I never heard it other places we’ve lived. The last house was on a hill of sand. More than enough to alter the sound. My mother’s house was on a main street so there was almost always some street traffic. The house before that had noisy neighbors and barking dogs. Before that was the city of Chicago and no city is ever completely quiet.

There are numerous theories as to why it exists, my favorite is the newest one - deep ocean waves hitting continental shelf outcroppings, but just the fact that there is a significant number of people in different places experiencing this takes a great load off my mind.

Not. Crazy.

Which since I’ve been under the stress of being unemployed and many many other things for years is a real concern for me.

Now I just need to invent a way to counter the problem. Earplugs don’t work, the small air filter does cause some white noise but still doesn’t drown it out, I“m betting noise canceling headphones won’t help either. I just hope I can find a solution.




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