September 17, 2023

The Last Place on Earth Without Human Noise

If your reaction to that headline was “I want to go to there,” check out this article from the BBC.

A special kind of noisiness accosts passengers waiting for New York City subways. Down there, sound levels regularly exceed 100 decibels – enough to damage a person’s hearing over time. It was on one such platform that George Foy, a journalist and New York University creative writing professor, suddenly found himself losing it one day, when four trains pulled in at once.
“I kind of went momentarily crazy,” he says. He hunched over and stuck his fingers in his ears, desperately trying to block out the cacophony. “I started wondering why the hell I was putting up with this,” he says.It was then that his obsession to find the quietest place on Earth began. “I thought, ‘If this is the craziness of noise, what is the opposite? What is absolute silence, and does it exist?’”
Foy took it upon himself to seek out the world’s quietest place, detailed in his recent book, Zero Decibels. He joins many others, ranging fromhealth professionals to ecologists to hobbyists, who have attempted to seek out the quietest corners in the world. Yet it turns out that finding those unsullied locations is more difficult than it might seem. Foy, for one, did find his ultimate silent spot in the end, but it wasn’t quite the peaceful refuge he anticipated – in fact, he discovered there that there’s one human noise none of us can ever escape.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37054 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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