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Wednesday Timesuck: The Strangest Sounds in the World

If you’re looking to kill some time at work today, explore this article from the BBC which seeks to explains some of the weirder corners of audio neuroscience, examples of audio illusions. For example, there’s something called the “tritone paradox.” Is the second note you hear higher or lower?

This consists of ambiguous sounds that either seem to be going up, or down, in pitch. People are convinced by their judgement – yet they can’t agree, a bit like TheDress.  Surprisingly, the way you hear it probably depends on your accent – whether you are American or English, for instance.

Here’s another example. Chances are this will resolve into a woman’s voice repeating something over and over. But what is she saying? It depends. “No way?” “Love me?” “Welcome?” “Mango?”

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 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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