The hum is a sound that only, according to some estimates, two percent of people can hear. The scientific world has no known explanation for this noise. For some of the 2%, it sounds like an engine idling. For others, it sounds like a low-frequency rumble. But almost all of those who can hear it can agree on one thing: it is a persistent, maddening noise.
Since it was first reported in Bristol, England, in 1970, this elusive phenomenon has plagued thousands of people across the globe, slowly eroding their sanity. One of them is Steve Kohlhase, an industrial-facilities mechanical engineer living in Brookfield, Connecticut. In Garret Harkawik’s short documentary Doom Vibrations, Kohlhase describes the noise: “Your ears are ringing real bad. If it’s a bad day, it feels like your brain is being squeezed. It’s nauseating.” Kohlhase says his dog, too, seems to suffer from the noise; once Kohlhase started hearing it, the canine became lethargic, and has never recovered.
“I think most people view the hum as a fringe belief,” Harkawik [stated], “because it’s so subjective—people say they hear something that most people can’t hear. But when you look at the vast number of people who say they hear it, it’s obvious that there’s something going on.”
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