Our mad and busy day to day routine makes us all want some peace and quiet. But then, as we all say, too much of everything is bad, and silence is not an exemption. In fact, people who were challenged to stay inside the world’s quietest place did not stand for too long. The longest a person lasted in there is 45 minutes.
The world’s quietest place, also known as the ‘anechoic chamber’ is located at Orfield Laboratories in South Minneapolis. It is 99.99% sound absorbent. Its double-insulated walls are made of steel and a foot-thick concrete. Along the walls are also 3.3-foot thick fiberglass acoustic wedges that contribute to the ultra-quietness. The room holds the current Guinness World Record for being the quietest place on Earth.
For some of you, this might look like nice and quiet place to relax, especially for those who live with kids or have stressful jobs. But, it’s not all that great. The room gets so silent that you can actually hear your internal organs at work. After a while, you begin to hallucinate. The experience is so disorienting that it could drive a person mad. In fact, it is imperative that people sit down. Standing up and walking around is simply impossible. We orient ourselves through sounds therefore, without sound we become stiff. “You take away the perceptual cues that allow you to balance and maneuver. If you’re in there for half an hour, you have to be in a chair,” Mr. Orfield says.
Aside from testing your capacity to stand total silence, anechoic chamber has plenty of uses. Many companies are now using it to test their products for noise, and see how they could be made quieter. Also, NASA uses it for various tests on their astronauts. Because believe it or not, the outer space is just one big anechoic chamber – the silence out there is just too loud.