By Jack Sharkey, March 26, 2014

In order to get the full measure of enjoyment and education out of this piece, watch this video first:

The Hum, as it is known on the Interwebs, is a low frequency noise that people in a variety of places around the world hear, claim to hear, think they hear, or all three.

Here's a list of towns that have incidents of The Hum: 

  • Taos, NM
  • Windsor, Ont
  • Kokomo, IN
  • London and Southampton
  • Seattle, WA
  • County Kerry, ROI
  • Wellington, NZ
  • Guadalajara, MX
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Largs, Scotland


The most likely explanation (at least as far as I'm concerned) comes from the guy in the above video (1:55 mark). A crashed alien spacecraft humming away under a mountain answers all of my questions, so I'm completely satisfied with that. But in case you're a hater of reason and logic, here's a list of other possible explanations: 

  • Mating fish: An midshipman fishactual scientific organization concluded the humming sound heard in areas of Hampshire in England came from the mating call of the Midshipman's fish. In my research I learned that Midshipman fish have three genders and can be quite loud in spite of their size, but unfortunately they don't live anywhere near Hampshire, or Taos, NM 
  • Mass Hysteria & Hallucinations: Always the fallback explanation for things that can't be explained, this theory is unlikely because many people in the affected areas don't hear The Hum even though their neighbors and even family members do
  • Low Frequency Mind Control Transmissions By the CIA: Some people believe this to be the only logical explanation for The Hum in Medford, OR and Taos, NM, but if you think I'm going to take a chance of crossing the CIA by researching this and then possibly disappearing on my way home from the office tonight, you're wildly mistaken
  • Machinery: Researchers concluded that The Hum experienced in Kokomo, IN, originated at a cooling tower at the local DaimlerChrysler plant which emitted a 36 Hz tone and an air compressor at another manufacturing plant that emitted a 10 Hz tone (harmonics again!). Mitigation measures were instituted but The Hum was still present
  • Sensitivity to Electromagnetic Waves: Loyal readers of this Blog know that electromagnetic waves need to be downshifted in order to be heard, so, yeah, probably not, except maybe this idea isn't as far-fetched as it would seem on first blush
  • Tinnitus: I have tinnitus and it's really annoying (again, I blame it on the 70s and 80s), but I can make it go away by putting a fan on, and I've heard it in every city I've ever been in. It's also a high frequency noise and whine as I might, I can't get other people to hear it, unlike The Hum which has been picked up by microphones
  • Spontaneous Otoacoustic Emissions: Not to be confused with spontaneous human combustion, which I also find fascinating, SOE's happen because about 45% of our ears produce their own noises, but SOE's aren't clustered in specific geographic areas and even though you can record them, you have to stick a microphone into your ear canal to do so
  • Gravity: Don't you think more people would hear gravity? That is, if you could hear gravity.
  • The Ocean: Another scientific organization published their findings that a "hum hotspot" that turned out to be an "energetic source area stretching from the Labrador Sea to south of Iceland, where wind patterns are especially conducive to generating oppositely traveling waves of [the] same period (wave length), and the ocean depth is favourable for efficient microseism generation through the ‘organ pipe’ resonance of the compression waves." These microseisms have been tracked and do exist and researchers theorize that sound from these wave collisions could travel anywhere on the planet
  • ELF: Not quite what you were probably hoping, ELF stands for Extremely Low Frequency and is caused by such natural things as lightning and disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field (known as Schumann Resonances). Knowing what we now about resonances and standing waves, it's easy to conclude that ELF can be very present in some areas while not present at all in others (if you think of the Earth as just a bigger listening room than your living room). Return flow from electrical power grids can also cause ELF. 

Let's watch another video that may shed some light on The Hum. Judging from the narrator's deep and concerned tone, you should take this video very seriously:

Here is a recording of the Taos Hum analyzed with a Spectrum Analyzer:

After doing some research, I'm sticking with the crashed alien spacecraft theory, with ELF Interference and Schumann Resonances running a close second and third respectively. And while we had a little fun with The Hum in this piece, to the thousands of people who can't escape it, it's quite serious and maddening. 

But as with most everything, there is probably a very natural, logical, explanation to The Hum that most likely has to do with the universe and the energy waves surrounding us.

For more information, or to repost your own experience with The Hum, please visit the World Hum Map and Database.