Show Mobile Navigation
Mysteries |

Top 10 Amazing Facts about the Taos Hum That’s Heard Worldwide

by Jonathan Hastad
fact checked by Rachel Jones

Do you ever hear a humming sound in your ear? You’re not crazy—other people can hear it too.

The Taos Hum is a low-frequency sound described as a persistent, low-pitched rumbling or humming noise. It is commonly reported in Taos, New Mexico, but it has also been reported in other parts of the world.

Despite decades of investigation, no single cause for the Taos Hum has been identified. While some may experience the Hum as an annoyance or disturbance, others have described it as a source of comfort or spiritual experience. Here are 10 amazing facts about the Taos Hum.

Related: Top 10 Strangest Theories About Mysterious Occurrences

10 The Hum: Origins Unknown

The origin of the Taos Hum can be traced to the early 1990s when residents of Taos, New Mexico, reported hearing a low-frequency noise. The sound was described as a persistent, low-pitched hum or rumble that seemed to be coming from the ground or the sky.

Over the years, numerous theories have been proposed to explain the origin of the Hum. One of the earliest theories was that the noise was caused by a low-frequency sound generated by a military installation. However, this theory was dismissed as the military denied involvement in the sound.

Other theories suggest that the Hum results from natural phenomena such as atmospheric pressure, seismic activity, or the resonance of the Earth’s crust and ocean waves interacting with the coastline. However, the most widely accepted theory is that the Taos Hum results from man-made sources such as electrical transformers, underground drilling, or other industrial activities.

Some researchers have suggested that the Hum may result from multiple factors, including natural and man-made sources. However, the exact cause of the Taos Hum remains a subject of ongoing investigation and debate among scientists and researchers.

9 It’s a Global Influence

The Strange Hums Heard Around The World | Sound Mysteries

While the Taos Hum is most commonly reported in Taos, New Mexico, it has also been reported in other parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. However, the characteristics of the sound and how it’s perceived can vary widely between different locations.

In some cases, the Hum may be heard only by a small number of individuals, while in others, it may be heard by a large group. The Hum may also vary in intensity and frequency, with some individuals reporting hearing a low-pitched rumble or humming sound while others report a high-pitched whine or screech.

In many cases, individuals who hear the Hum report feeling frustrated or anxious, as the sound can be difficult to identify and can persist for long periods. Some individuals have reported physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or nausea.

Despite the wide variation in how the Taos Hum is heard and perceived in different parts of the world, ongoing investigation is needed to understand the cause of the Hum and develop effective strategies for mitigating its impact on those who experience it.

8 It Can Have Disturbing Side Effects

In search of the Taos hum

The Taos Hum and similar low-frequency noise phenomena have been reported to have a range of disturbing effects. The effects can vary from person to person, but some of the most commonly reported symptoms include the following:

  • Sleep Disturbance: Many people report the Hum disrupts their sleep, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep. This can lead to feelings of fatigue and irritability.

  • Anxiety and Stress: The persistent, low-level sound can lead to feelings of frustration, helplessness, and even depression.

  • Physical Symptoms: Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, or nausea.

  • Difficulty Concentrating: The constant presence of the sound makes it difficult for some to concentrate on their work or daily activities, leading to decreased productivity and difficulty completing tasks.

  • Social Isolation: The Hum can be a source of frustration and embarrassment for those who hear it, leading to social isolation and exclusion.

Some individuals report feeling comforted or soothed by the sound. In contrast, others can tune it out and go about their activities without disruption.

7 Conspiracy Theorist Love the Hum

The Taos Hum – The Mystery Of The Explained

Conspiracy theories suggest that the Hum is not a naturally occurring phenomenon but a deliberate action by certain groups or individuals. Some of the most common conspiracy theories surrounding the Taos Hum include:

  • Government Involvement: Some believe the government is behind the creation of the Taos Hum, either through secret military operations or other clandestine activities. Some theories suggest the Hum is related to mind control or population control.

  • Extraterrestrial Involvement: Some believe the Hum is caused by extraterrestrial activity as the use of alien technology or the presence of underground alien bases.

  • Industrial or Corporate Conspiracy: Some believe the Hum is the result of intentional actions by corporations or industries, either to harm the environment or control nearby residents’ behavior.

It is important to note that no scientific evidence supports these conspiracy theories, and they are not widely accepted among researchers or the general public.

6 It’s an Artistic Muse

British sound artist captures Taos sound

Despite the disturbing effects of the Taos Hum and other similar low-frequency noises on people, some individuals have found inspiration in the sound. There are several reasons why some people may find the Hum to be artistic inspiration:

  • Uniqueness: The Hum is a unique and unusual sound that can be difficult to replicate or imitate using traditional musical instruments. This uniqueness makes the Taos Hum an intriguing and inspiring source of inspiration.

  • Atmosphere: The constant, low-level sound of the Hum can create a distinctive atmosphere or mood. Some artists may find the Hum creates a sense of tension or unease they can channel into their work.

  • Challenge: Because the Hum is a complex and elusive phenomenon, some artists may be drawn to the challenge of capturing or reproducing it in their art. This challenge can be intellectually stimulating and creatively rewarding.

  • Connection: For some artists who live in areas where the Hum is heard, the sound may have a personal or emotional connection. This connection may inspire them to incorporate the sound into their work to express their experience or explore its meaning.

5 It Might Be Impacting the Environment

2% of People Have Heard “The Hum” …Have You?

The Taos Hum and other similar low-frequency noise phenomena have raised several environmental concerns. Some of the most significant environmental concerns include the following:

  • Noise Pollution: The constant, low-level sound of the Taos Hum can be considered a form of noise pollution, which can negatively impact human health and the environment. Prolonged exposure to noise pollution has been linked to hearing loss, stress, and other health problems.

  • Energy Use: Some sources of the Hum are believed to be associated with energy production and transmission, such as electrical transformers and power lines. These sources may consume significant energy and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Water Pollution: Possible industrial sources of the Taos Hum may release pollutants and chemicals into local water sources, which can harm water quality and aquatic life.

Addressing these concerns will require scientific research, public policy, and individual action to reduce the impact of the Hum.

4 It Seems to Be Nocturnal

‘The Hum’: The Unexplained Noise 2% of People Can Hear

One of the common characteristics of the Taos Hum and similar low-frequency noise is that the sound is often most noticeable at night, typically between 9 pm and 8 am. There are several reasons why this might be the case:

  • Ambient Noise Levels: During the day, ambient noise levels in urban and suburban environments are typically higher due to traffic, construction, and other human activities. These background noises can mask or drown out the low-frequency sound, making it less noticeable. At night, when ambient noise levels are lower, the Hum may become more audible.

  • Human Perception: Human hearing is most sensitive to low-frequency sounds during the night when the body is relaxed. This may make it easier for people to perceive the low-frequency sound of the hum when other noises are absent.

  • Atmospheric Conditions: Atmospheric conditions, such as temperature and humidity, can affect the propagation of low-frequency sounds. These conditions may be more conducive to the transmission of the Taos Hum during the night when the air is cooler and more stable.

  • Electrical Interference: Some sources of the Hum are believed to be associated with electrical or electromagnetic fields, which may be more active at night when there is less demand on the power grid.

While the reasons for the increased perceptibility of the Taos Hum at night are not fully understood, this pattern has been reported by many individuals who have experienced the phenomenon. However, it’s important to note that the Taos Hum can be heard at any time, and some may experience the sound more intensely or frequently than others, regardless of the time of day.

3 You Can’t Record it

One of the most puzzling aspects of the Taos Hum and similar low-frequency noise phenomena is that recording the sound using traditional audio recording equipment has proven difficult (if not impossible). There are several possible reasons why this is the case:

  • Low-Frequency Sound: The Taos Hum is typically 30-80 Hz which is below the range of human hearing. This makes it difficult to record using conventional microphones and recording equipment, typically designed to capture sounds in the audible frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

  • Interference: The Hum is believed to be a complex sound with multiple sources, including both natural and man-made sources. These sources may interfere with each other, making it difficult to isolate and record the sound of the Hum itself.

  • Subjectivity: The experience of the Hum is subjective, meaning that different people may hear different sounds or perceive the sound in different ways. This makes it difficult to standardize recording methods and equipment to capture sound accurately.

  • Localization: The Hum is often reported to be a localized sound, meaning it may only be audible in specific areas or under certain conditions. This makes it difficult to capture the sound consistently and reliably.

Despite these challenges, there have been some attempts to record the Taos Hum using specialized equipment and techniques. For example, some researchers have used infrasound sensors or sensitive microphones. However, these attempts have been largely unsuccessful in producing definitive recordings.

2 Some Label It as a Hearing Disorder

The HUM Sample (Kokomo Hum | Taos Hum | Bristol Hum)

Some scientists and medical professionals have proposed that the Taos Hum and similar low-frequency noise phenomena should be classified as a form of hearing disorder or tinnitus.

Tinnitus is when a person perceives a sound in their ears or head with no external source. The sound can be a ringing, buzzing, or humming, often associated with hearing loss or damage. Some researchers have suggested that the Taos Hum may be a type of tinnitus triggered by exposure to low-frequency sound waves, electromagnetic fields, or other environmental factors.

The argument for classifying the Taos Hum as a hearing disorder is based on the fact that the sound is not objectively measurable or recordable using conventional audio equipment and appears to be subjective, only reported by a small percentage. However, not all agree with this perspective; some argue that the Hum is a distinct and measurable physical sound unrelated to tinnitus or other hearing disorders.

1 Its Future Is Unclear

The Hum Pt II: The Strange Sound Heard All Over the World

The future of Taos Hum research is uncertain, as there is still much that is not understood. However, several avenues of inquiry may shed light on the underlying causes of the Hum and its effects on human health and well-being.

One promising area of research is the development of new techniques for detecting and measuring low-frequency noise and vibration. As technology advances, it may become possible to capture and analyze the elusive hum. There is a need for greater collaboration and communication between researchers, policymakers, and affected communities to better understand and address the social, medical, and environmental impacts of the Taos Hum.

fact checked by Rachel Jones