Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

Rhode Island’s Rumble of Insanity™

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

You may have read DiscoBlog's earlier post about an incessant rumbling sound driving people crazy in Auckland, New Zealand. Last weekend, 8,959 miles away from New Zealand, I also encountered a mysterious Rumble of Insanity™.

While raking leaves at my sister’s home in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, a neighbor—let’s call him “Ned”—stopped by with a leaf blower. “Can you hear that damn sound?” Ned asked me. A plane began to fly overhead. No, not the plane, he said; it sounds like a plane but you can hear it when there are no planes around. After the plane passed, I heard a rumble that was almost imperceptible—but louder than when I put my ear to, say, a rock.

Confusing legal authority with scientific authority, Ned called the police. They could hear it, too. And that was that—a shrug of the shoulders and everyone was back to blowing leaves and doing other weekendish chores.

No word yet on whether there's any connection here between the rumbling in RI and NZ. We'll keep our ears to the ground on this one.

PS: To hear a simulation of the sound, courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald and Phil Strong, click here. Wear headphones, because most computer speakers can’t produce the sound—and, apparently, some human ears can't hear it.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In