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Why Does the Earth Hum?

Ocean Wave Reverberation

What is Earth’s Hum?

Even without earthquakes, seismometers constantly record seismic energy. They record periods of oscillations about every 6 seconds as background noise.

Earth hum was once thought to be very mysterious in nature. It went unexplained for decades. But now scientists discovered that these oscillations are due to ocean waves constantly crashing into continents.

Ocean waves pound continents vibrating like a bell. Then land masses shake back and forth like a metronome. And during storms, it worsens as the reverberations are amplified.

So, let’s get started with Earth hum. Because even when it’s silent, there’s a bit of background noise reverberating.

Low-frequency background noise

Earth Background Noise

Humans are unable to hear Earth’s hum because it ranges between 2.9 and 4.5 Mhz. In general, humans can hear anything from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

So, this means that Earth’s hum is about 10,000 times lower than what we are capable of hearing. That’s why we need special seismometers to detect this ultra-low frequency.

There have been claims that submarine activity and hidden military operations caused this low-frequency noise. But in 1998, this phenomenon has been attributed to ocean waves pounding the edge of continents.

Like the reverberations of a bell, scientists have clearly listened to Earth’s hum. By installing seismometers in the Indian Ocean, they gathered signals from the ultra-low frequency sound to conclude where it was coming from.

Why Does the Earth Hum?

Do you ever wonder what Earth sounds like? Scientists have discovered that Earth’s hum is a constant, pulsing note that’s not heard as clearly in human ears.

The Earth hums due to a phenomenon known as “microseisms,” which are low-frequency, long-period seismic waves that constantly reverberate through the planet’s crust.

These subtle vibrations are generated primarily by the interaction of ocean waves with the seafloor and the Earth’s crust, creating a continuous hum that can be detected by sensitive seismometers.

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  1. Very interesting!…I don’t think I’ve ever heard the hum, anywhere in the world, but I believe that you people hear it, and are aware of it!…. Makes sense…Everything…. spins and vibrates! I’m an old musician with tinnitus, also a science nerd…. We should make a thermo acoustic generator tuned to that hum….FREE HEAT…I.e. Free power for everyone!!! open source that.

  2. I can hear the earth hum. I think that it the center of the earths mantal which is spinning all the time causes the hum. When the earthquakes and lava flows started in Iceland, I could hear an increase of the sounds that I could hear, and I live in California. Sometimes when the sounds are verry loud, I can actually feel the earth vibrate. I suspect that as the mantle is spinning inside the earth, the mantle is rubbing against the earth’s crust which causes the hum.

  3. I have heard “The Hum” for many years and only at certain times, usually during cold weather. I have heard it all around the country, even in the mountains of Montana, miles away from anything. This seems to be a mystery nobody in science wants to deal with and of course, blames it on the individual’s hearing. It’s funny how “Science” nowadays is quick to dismiss anything they don’t understand instead of having the curiosity to investigate it.

  4. I think the earth hums to drown out all the crap noise we humans make, just like all the waste we produce and all the emissions we throw into our atmosphere… or maybe it’s the earth trying to put us back on track or self heal the damage we’ve caused, it’s all very deep.

  5. I moved countries and still hear the hum, some days of the month are louder than others . When it’s loud like right now, 12.10.23 it’s really not pleasant on my ears or body. I thought it was my house in the UK and was so happy we sold it, now I’m in central portugal, at least 2.5 hours away from the nearest ocean and it’s louder than I have ever heard it. To sleep I have to play brown noise on YouTube to cancel out the noise.

  6. I live in Warren, Ohio and I’ve heard the hum for years in one particular area outside. Day and night. I can hear it inside yet like I stated it is outside. Somedays when I’m sitting on the porch facing the side where the hum is, it’s as if the angels sit with me and the hum is loud, yet peaceful 100%. I’ve asked neighbors if they hear it and no they don’t.

  7. I experience it constantly. Lately, it’s becoming louder, more intense and disorienting. Right now as I write it is the loudest I have heard it.

  8. I have heard the hum for years. I live in Galway, Ireland. I first thought it was the ferries going back and forth to the Aran Islands but then discovered they don’t run at night. Then I thought it was the local factory nearby. THEY don’t run machines at night. I actually asked. I went to visit my sister in Katona,NY and found out I could hear it there also! AND that my sister could ALSO hear it! We can both hear it at our childhood home in Cutchogue, NY.
    I just can’t accept it is wave action however…it’s too consistent..like a giant diesel tumble dryer going around and around at the center of the Earth. I am comforted by the fact others can hear it and that my sister and I are not crazy but I need a better explanation for what I hear.

  9. I’ve often wondered if I was just a little nutty to think it was the Earth’s sound or pulse I was feeling and hearing. I don’t know what took me so long to check if it was just me or if it was in fact something others have experienced. So the Earth is indeed living. More reason to take good care of it. 😊

  10. To me, this seems a rhythm rather than a hum – is this hum different from the Schumann Resonance? or is there an entire concert going on that we are only now becoming aware of because of our inquiry and instruments?

  11. People may not hear the hum, but sensitive people can tune in and feel that frequency in their body.

  12. “this means that Earth’s hum is about 10,000 times lower than what we are capable of hearing”

    I disagree. I live in a rural area about an hour and a half from the ocean where the waves crash and I can hear the earth’s “hum”, or natural frequency. It’s very peaceful.

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