Can Low Frequency Sound Waves Make You Sick?

Can Low Frequency Sound Waves Make You Sick?

Shhh you hear that? Yeah I don’t either…
but it’s making me feel creeped out. Hey guys julia here for DNews The world is loud and noisy. And it seems
to be only getting noisier. Obviously exposure to loud noises can cause hearing damaging.
But some studies like one published in the British Medical Bulletin, show that it cause
a range of ill health effects, like anxiety and stress, and another study showed it may
even raise blood pressure . And that’s just the sounds you can hear. There’s a whole
world of sound that’s below our range of hearing that can also be damaging. Infrasound typically describes sound below
20 hertz. Usually, it’s too low for humans to pick up, yet some animals communicate in
this range. Like elephants vocalize in a low rumble that we can’t hear. But infrasound
can be artificial too: loudspeakers and public address systems, industrial machinery, that
kind of thing, can kick out sounds that are too low in frequency for humans to hear, but
can make us sick. A study published in the journal indoor and
built environment found that infrasound could be contributing to a condition called “sick-building
syndrome”. A condition where office workers complain of nausea, dizziness, migraine, fatigue
and tinnitus with no attributable cause. Yet this study suggests that infrasound, typically
of about 7hz, might be responsible. Unfortunately, infrasound isn’t regulated
all that well. A recent report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A questions the idea
of what makes up “safe” sound levels in a working environment. The report suggests
that workplace exposure to both infrasound and ultrasound often exceeds current guidelines.
There’s concern too that the guidelines are too low, and outdated: coming from research
that’s 40 years old. And even then the evidence for the guidelines isn’t strong enough,
they are based on the average response of small group, often of adult males. The researchers
back then didn’t didn’t reach any strong conclusions, just preliminary guidelines,
believing that more research would be done. But in the ensuing decades, not much has changed.
So basically the lead author is saying… “more research is needed”. But there is evidence that infrasounds cause
more than just headaches. Some researchers think it might be responsible for that creepy
“haunted house feeling”. One paper published in the journal of the Society for Psychical
Research suggests that a standing sound wave of specifically 18.9 hertz is responsible
for some of the spooky happenings in their lab. Researchers at Coventry University kept
seeing moving things out of the corners of their eyes, their hair kept standing on end,
they felt simply dreadful anytime they were in the lab. But one day they noticed a piece of equipment
was vibrating without an apparent cause, and discovered that an extractor fan was creating
a standing wave at, you guess it, 18.9 hertz. When they turned off the fan, one of the authors
described the feeling as “if a huge weight was lifted”. And researchers have tested this on a larger
audience. Literally. British scientists played music to a large auditorium filled with people…and
slipped infrasound into some of the songs. Some people in the audience said they felt
“uneasy or sorrowful, getting chills down the spine or nervous feelings of revulsion
or fear” when the songs contained infrasound. Spooky right? No, it’s science. But don’t be so put off by soundwaves yet.
Not all of them are creepy! in fact soundwaves can do some pretty cool stuff! To learn more
about how scientists are harnessing the power of sound, check out this episode right here. TestTube now has a newsletter! Get a weekly
round-up of our most popular videos across all our shows at So have you ever gotten that creepy feeling?
Or felt sick in your office or school for no reason? Do you think it was infrasound?
tell me your stories down below

100 Replies to “Can Low Frequency Sound Waves Make You Sick?”

  1. Sigh…

    So, there are a few things that Julia sort of conveniently forgets to mention here. For starters, Sick Building Syndrome isn't really a "thing" in the sense that you would expect. It's a somewhat weakly evidenced occurrence of some symptoms that are necessarily self-reported and, as such, are often psychophysiological in origin. In short, we don't actually know that it exists. It's kind of really irresponsible to talk about it like it's a thing clearly understood and acknowledged by science at large.

    More significantly…you're going to cite the "journal" of the SPR? Really? REALLY? The SPR is – at the very best of times – a barely scientific endeavor. Most of the time, they fall considerable short of that mark (for instance, they're responsible for the Scole Report – one of the most devastatingly terrible exercises in pseudoscience you could hope to find). They are not an authoritative source on anything, and IF you're going to cite them, you REALLY need to point out precisely how little respect they can lay claim to.

  2. when im laying in bed at night,when there is no traffic,noise pollution,ect….. I've live in the country,i hear sounds,like beeping,that are in my ear, i believe to be some type of natural sound waves from something.

  3. don't know about infra sound s. but on Friday 2nd half in my office I always hear nice music waiting for week end. and on Monday to Friday I do hear these sounds:p

  4. Can confirm that since I use ear buds and an industrial grade pair of protective headphones (those used in construction around loud machines) the sound of my own computer became inaudible (specially if you go all out and have some quiet white noise playing) so much so I rarely get a headache anymore.

  5. smart boards bug me, and give me headaches but I can read everything that is not on a smart board perfectly fine.

  6. Hey Guys,
    could you do a video on Alpha waves and if it really boosts creativity. I've heard and read so much about it and there are plenty of you tube videos for studying, but I''m curious, what you will have to say about the subject. Many say, classical music increases the concentration, now it's alpha waves. Could we talk about this once and for all?

  7. My neighbors point their speakers with infrasound at me. I don't hear the bass, but they make my eye twitch and my muscles spasms. How can I prevent that from happen and which materials do I need?

  8. I think people who are complaining about physical effects of emissions from smart meters (which can't be measured) are probably experiencing low frequency noise from a grow op with ventilation on stealth or a poorly installed or maintained heat system (which can be measured)

  9. Irony is your video have sound problem. Woman too low. Man too loud. It's just a click to normalize your video's sound.

  10. The nausea and sickness some times also high blood pressure and general malaise some people feel when they are exposed to deep
    frequencies is called "The X effect"

    It is presumed that "The X effect" occurs when an untrained ear is listening to the deep and distorted Dubstepdrops from Excision.

    "The X effect" get more intense as Volume increce and distance to the source decrease.

    "The X effect" often starts to make the subjekt feel better after a few minutes after intense listening and leads to start random dances to the strange sounds from Excision.

  11. Thanks for posting. I'm one of the few who can hear very low frequencies. I'm not sure it has any long term health effects on humans, but i can tell you it is a loud and annoying type of sound that travels distance, through objects and is difficult to block out. It is present in many areas, always man made. I have noticed others who complain of tinnitus tend to do so when the low frequencies are loudest.

  12. That low frequency booming bass sound that rappers make, gives older people intense headache when those cars go by..well soon cops & military personnel will have a weapon that works the same way.Point it at those a**hole rappers & watch them drop to their knees! Give them a pieceโ€‹ of their own medicine! This low power full Sound laser can actually kill a wanna be rapper! Jerks!

  13. The woman above my room has bought a tower fan, it is putting out an infrasound wave that is bothering my eardrum and vibrating my skull, but there is not audible sound. it gives a slight nausea and a weird feeling of being on a ride. i can feel the movement of the fan in my head, like a back and forth force pulling me. I can't sleep in my room now and she knows about it. She did put the fan on a chair for me but it has not quit propagating the infrasound wave..When she turns off the fan, the feeling of head pressure is gone and i feel relief. i think our society is pretty ignorant in that we sell objects that create harm like this and deny it does.
    Not impressed. You could spend half a million on a condo and be exposed to this with a tough road ahead if you want to sue to stop the situation. People know their phones work tapping into something they cannot see, but if you can't occupy a room due to an infrasound problem, you are nuts…..

  14. We are living in constant infrasound from the local power plant, 6 to 15hz about 100db in our home, the government and the local authorities don't care about it, my wife is seriously ill now cause to the infrasound, the sound can be heard 20km away from the plant, there had been a firm (sweco) out at our house and had been measuring the noise, they cheated on the measure method in the way they did in logaritmisk and not linear, the result was that the noise was under 30db instead of the 100db we are living in, it is the government and there heating system here in Denmark, the power plant (heating) are not constructed well, they now all about the problem but they don't care about the people in Denmark, my wife don't sleep a lot, the last 3 years se had to sleep in the living room on the sofa sitting up, if she is lucky she gets about 1 hour rest through the night, the infrasound going through the head and lungs and sometimes thug the heart if the frequency is about 8hz, the heart ambulance have been her twice for my wife, our life is shattered completely, we can't afford to move and our income is so low so if we move we will never get a house again, I'm so afraid of what is going to happen to my wife that I can't stand it anymore. Peace and love to all the good people out there.

  15. There's this annoying low hum that rumbles in my house some days. It drives me crazy! I know it's a piece of industrial equipment somewhere around me. I want to find a way to legally have it stopped.

  16. You can measure it. Record the sound with microphones designed for recording low frequency sound. Tascam DR-05 has built in microphones designed to record music including bass tones and so have a flat response to at least 20 hz. Then take the wav file and analyse it with an oscilloscope and a spectrum analyzer. Virtins Multi Instrument sells software that runs on a computer. The oscilloscope will show the sound wave. The spectrum analyzer will show the frequencies present in the noise.

  17. My apartment's heating system makes me and my cat nauseous every time it turns on with relief when it turns off but my landlord won't do anything about it. I live in Windsor Ontario Canada – what can I legally do? What can I practically do? How can you dampen something that shakes the whole place?

  18. It should be clarified that 18.9 Hz is a rough estimate Vic Tandy (the writer of the paper mentioned in the video) threw together very quickly, and should not be perceived as precise. NASA claims that the resonant frequency of the eye is 18 hz which, when experienced, will cause some distortion in vision. This is what Tandy believed caused the perception of a "grey figure" while he was in the lab. If you'd like to fact check me, throw "ghost in the machine Vic Tandy" into Google.

  19. One day years ago, I was listening to an old song that I've heard many times before. But that particular time, there was a different sound added to it and I didn't know it was there. Suddenly, my heart was palpitating and I was hyperventilating. I also had this creepy feeling that came along with it. I was really creeped out. I played it again and again and it was still shocking to me. This never happened before. I didn't have any idea why, but this video really helped. Thanks for posting.

  20. Why do I feel like my ears and skull vibrate when someone is playing loud music outside but I cant realy hear the music clearly but I feel like I can feel the vibration from the walls and window caused by the music. It drives me crazy and causes headache and makes me feel aggressive. But actual loud noise doesn't have that effect. Why is that?

  21. I remember when I was a little kid -maybe 3 or so. There used to be these street parades at "Whitsuntide" (early June, and to do with Church) Well every time the man with the big bass drum came by I felt horrible with belly ache and nausea and it made me cry and changed my energy somehow. Grown ups laughed at me for crying, and I couldn't describe how I felt.

  22. This affected us at a place I used to work at. It took forever to find out what was making us feel messed up.

  23. She's reading off of a screen behind the camera and using hand gestures to give off the illusion that she's smart, all women are idiots.

  24. I now have tinnitus because my neighbor plays these tones on a downfiring bass in his trailer, creating half-waves and infrasound. The police and code enforment do not do anything because "they cannot hear it" yet it goes on literally all day. We cant afford to move out of our owned home of 10 years. What do we do?

  25. Our neighbors jacuzzi hum is so loud and it penetrates our entire home ๐Ÿ , background music does not help, city 311 has given us a run around for 5 weeks. Senior help line, bylaw, peaceofficers and now POLICE are trying to deal with this.

    Its very frustrating and we havent slept ๐Ÿ› in ages cause of this
    Normally youd just go talk to a neighbour, however this guy is a hot headed prick firefighter that has made threats, and even death threats in the past

    We are posting this story on our backup channel soon
    Justice for Cats ๐Ÿˆ

  26. You can produce frequencies below 20Hz very efficiently using a fan-subwoofer, which basically changes the pitch of the fan blades to modulate the pressure waves, such a set up has been able to transmit infrasonic frequencies up to 4km away!

  27. I have those boys with their cars, they come under my apartment 1st floor with their car for some reason, I don't know when i get to sleep everyday and I just get to sleep and I wake up after 5 or ten minutes at most and I have seen a horrible nightmare, then I hear their voices laughing loud and leaving with their car.

  28. I can hear low frequency sounds from over a quarter mile away. People think I am crazy or hearing things, but I have driven out to those place and found bands playing low volume music, but with a lot of base. I get headaches, anxious, irritable, and my ears hurt with these base sounds. I sometimes hear it and others don't. I am looking to block those low frequency sounds, and can not find anything to help. Can you help me block those low frequency sounds? PLEASE!

  29. My Brothers & Sisters- I seek a how to video on: "How to to combat frequency tones (which seem to come from the sky- other times seems to come from within the home)". Anyone?

  30. the equipment that use 40 years ago so obsolete by today's standards of testing it's not the required test equipment that would normally be used in today's industry so it's invalid whatever they sent forth 40 years ago

  31. Is there a theory that the Nazis used to play low frequency sounds before hitlers speeches to make crowds uneasy and then cut the sound when Hitler came out on stage in order to make the crowd associate Hitler with calmness and a relief from stress? I have no idea if this is true but Iโ€™d love to know

  32. idk about anyone else. but i listen to 16-19hz at 147-50dbs daily. i don't get sick or uneasy. i put infrasonic frequencies in my rebasses and yeah. doesnt affect me or any of anyone else who sits in my truck or my friends truck.

  33. I did and experiment on this using a speaker in public I placed in a bush. All the people sitting on chairs drinking coffee, chatting, or looking on their phones all stood up and rushed away, with nervous and scared expressions.

  34. This is absolutely true. I can say when a plane is approaching before anybody around me can hear any signs of audible sound. This means, when the plane is still about 4 km apart, my bed, chair or whatever object I'm in contact with vibrates like a 3-degree earthquake. And 15 to 18 seconds later the plane sound becomes audible. Nobody at home perceives this but me. It is getting worst over the time. Sharp pain behind my right eye, dizzyness, etc. Drs. Didn't have idea what this is. I suspected about air waves then infrasound and I got it! I have now some research and will visit the Dr again.

  35. They haunt got me yet, but they are using inferior sound to pierce my ear drums. It's also effecting my dog. By the way I have read on to think they tried to poison it. Keep for records make sure it gets in right hands

  36. Have a feeling ita a jeoulus Crime. Since I don't know who or whAt they are I can't say it's a hate Crime yet.

  37. I am a victim of abusive voice to skull technology 24/7. These psychopaths can watch 25/7. They can watch through my eyes and comment about my body. They physically assault me with their covert electronic weapons 24/7, not allowing me to sleep.

  38. The first 30 minutes of Irreversible uses infrasound to disturb the audience. The movie is already extremely violent and it really adds to it.

  39. What can be done to deflect or silence infrasonic….If you guys smart dig out an answer for this and make a video on it..

  40. I really love low frequency sound. I feel fresh hearing thunder and I love playing the bass. Also, I never feel fear watching horror movie that use low pitch. Heyyy bassistttsss, anyone feel the same?

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