Frequency of the world wide hum

The “Hum”

Do you hear it? When I moved to Ipswich, I began noticing an oscillating low frequency hum when I’m lying in bed at night, similar to a motor idling in the distance. Interestingly, the hum went away during the height of the COVID epidemic in late 2020 and early 2021, but in the summer of 2021, the hum is back, louder than ever and I hear it any time of the day.

My wife thinks it’s in my head and said I shouldn’t write this article. I’ve had high frequency tinnitus for as long as I can remember, but the hum is a very low frequency. I checked all of the obvious possibilities in and around my house, and it’s not a motor, the furnace, the dehumidifier or a transformer vibration.

So I Googled, and learned that “The Hum” is a worldwide phenomenon in which a distant rumbling sound is heard by about 2% of the population, which I guess makes me special. People who hear the hum describe a low-frequency sound inside their houses, around 20-40 hertz (the lower limit of normal human hearing). In industrial acoustics, it is well-established that wooden structures amplify frequencies below 100 Hz, even below 50 Hz. But that doesn’t explain the source of the hum.

I reproduced an 80 Hz frequency which is somewhat close to what I hear but without the modulations) at the Online Tone Generator.

Below is a recording of the hum in Windsor, Ontario.

Even Wikipedia has a page about “The Hum”:

“A name often given to widespread reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise not audible to all people. Hums have been widely reported by national media in the UK and the United States, and sometimes named according to the locality where the problem has been particularly publicized.”

The phenomenon has been studied for several decades with no definitive answers, but multiple explanations have been proposed:

  • Low-frequency tinnitus oscillating with exterior sound sources, (study by Franz Gunter Frosch)
  • The phenomenon is almost always heard inside a house. Some people tried switching off the main breaker but it made no difference.
  • Seismic hum is created by the Earth’s tectonic plate movements and volcanic eruptions.
  • Booming sand dunes can create sound during windy weather at a frequency between 70 and 110 Hz.
  • Ocean waves especially those located along shelf breaks can resonate with periods of 50 to 300 seconds through the ground and cause vibrations in nearby structures.
  • Infrasound, sound waves with a frequency below the lower limit of audibility (generally 20 Hz) must be sufficiently high to hear. Examples are diesel engines and wind turbines.
  • Electric hum around transformers by stray magnetic fields cause the enclosure and accessories to vibrate, typically at 50 hz, with harmonic tonal spikes at 100, 200, and 400Hz harmonic frequencies.
  • Power lines are known create a humming sound at line voltage frequency (120 / 240 Hz) with harmonic content above 50–60 Hz, aka “Mains Hum.”
  • Schumann resonances are continuous natural ELF waves resonating between the ionosphere and Earth’s surface at a frequency of 7.83 Hz, along with progressively weaker harmonics at 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8 Hz.
  • Auditory perception of microwave pulses, which can create a wave of acoustic pressure conducted by the skull to the inner ear, activating the cochlea.
  • ELF (extremely low frequency) transmitters were proposed to communicate with submarines while submerged. Project Sanguine was a U.S. Navy project, proposed in 1968 and would have required a giant antenna covering two fifths of the state of Wisconsin, but was never implemented.
  • The VLF Transmitter Cutler in Cutler, Maine provides one-way communication to submarines in the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet at a frequency of 24 kHz and input power of up to 1.8 megawatts, one of the most powerful radio transmitters in the world
  • The US government’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmits RF into the ionosphere.
  • In northern latitudes, some people claim to hear the Aurora Borealis.
  • And of course, Aliens. But as I mentioned, I’m not crazy.

An example of how a beat is created with two different sound wave frequencies

Feel the beat

Beating is a phenomenon caused by two strong tones or vibrations with frequency close to each other giving the resulting tone an amplitude variation over time. The superposition of two waves of slightly different frequencies but identical amplitudes create a third phenomenon, known as constructive and destructive interference, or “beat.” For example, have you ever pulled beside another vehicle at a traffic light and felt a pulsing vibration? That’s a “beat,” caused by the engines of two vehicles with close frequencies interacting with each other. When the two engine speeds are close, it can result in the phenomenon of beat vibration. When the two engine frequencies change, the beat vibration disappears. The beat is louder and is felt much more strongly than the individual frequencies that create it.

I was reminded of this recently while flying cross country in a Boeing 757. Sound waves from the two jet engines had almost identical frequencies, but it is impossible to make them exactly the same. The result was a loud fluctuating vibration in the entire body of the plane caused by interference as the two waves go in and out of phase with each other. It’s likely that the Hum is caused by a similar interaction of multiple sources, which would explain why the perceived tone modulates irregularly.

Beats occur when waves of similar frequencies are superimposed. The resulting amplitude oscillates with a beat regularity determined by the difference between the two frequencies. If the two frequencies are almost identical, the period between beats is longer but the beat is stronger. In our loud world, multiple sound waves create multiple beats which in turn interact with each other. If this is causing the world-wide hum, the question still remains, what is creating the initial vibrations?

Two interfering sound frequencies create a beat
The purple and blue lines in the graph are individual sound frequencies. The yellow shaded areas represent the “beat” created by their interaction with each other and could explain why the “Hum” has irregular pulses.

The frequency difference between the two tones corresponds to the beating frequency. Multiple sources with close frequencies result in an irregular beat and variations in the sound amplitude (volume).

In 1996 residents in Hull and Nahant, Massachusetts began reporting the unidentified sound of an engine idling in the distance. More recently, the World Hum Map produced by Dr. Glen MacPherson pinpoints hundreds of hum reports from the UK and the US, including reports from Topsfield, Newburyport, Salem and Gloucester.

Most “hum hearers,” including myself, experience the Hum at a very low volume starting around 10 pm, and we don’t hear it during the day. Have you heard the Hum? I promise you’re not crazy!

References and further reading:

  1. Wikipedia: The Hum
  2. Wikipedia: Microseisms
  3. Global quieting of high-frequency seismic noise due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown measures
  4. Denning, David, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 18, The Hum: An Anomalous Sound Heard Around the World
  5. Cracking the mystery of the ‘Worldwide Hum’
  6. Cat in the Shadows, the unexplained: What’s that noise?
  7. The New Republic: A Maddening Sound
  8. American Geophysical Union: Relative importance of the day‐night asymmetry in Schumann resonance amplitude records
  9. Robert Larsson, Vibration characterisation of low frequency engine idle vibrations
  10. The Atlantic: Why Everything Is Getting Louder
  11. Manifestations of a low-frequency sound of unknown origin perceived worldwide, also known as “the Hum” or the “Taos Hum”

85 thoughts on “The “Hum””

  1. Interesting. I hear a hum quite often, though it sounds like bees from afar…I do hear this in the day, though…I used to hear high frequency waves at night when I am in bed. I attributed it to my clock radio or other appliances…hmmmmmmmm, makes you wonder…

    1. Annapolis MD! My girlfriend and I came home from a night out and both heard a strange low pitched hum emanating from a specific area of a single room. It’s very strange and made both of our heads hurt.

  2. I first heard a hum at night when I was in my bedroom. It sounded to me as if it were coming from the ceiling/attic. I even called a friend to come over and listen. He couldn’t hear it. For me, the answer was that I am hearing my blood going through my veins/capillaries in my head/ear area.

  3. I have heard it as well (though I live in New Hampshire). Low frequency, late at night or early in the morning. I used to think a truck was idling somewhere nearby, but never saw one. It’s nice to know I’m not going crazy. Thanks.

    1. I hear the same . This been going on since July 2019 for me. Sometimes it last a hold week at a time. Very annoying. I live in Louisiana.

  4. I’ve had tinnitus for years. Many different sounds all at once. If in doubt, block both ears. If you still hear it, it’s you.

    1. I have tinnitus, but this sound is completely different. Tinnitus is high pitched like a ringing or a hiss sometimes more than one tone quality. But this is a low vibrating rumble that even has a physical sensation, like a pressure which can be attributed to a sonic boom effect. My tinnitus is with me all the time, this thing varies you can sometimes even hear it “approach ” around the same time in the evening. Its absolutely horrendous it gives me the creeps.

      1. Exactly the same here is nothing similar to tinnitus and the noise still gives me the creeps after many years of hearing it.

  5. I heard a rumbling hum about 5 months ago in April, I remember texting my bf about what I heard & even told my family but no one believed me. It was around 4am & i heard something that sounded like a plane flying, but I was raised & still live in Indianapolis, so I have heard planes, jets, factories, the highway traffic, every motor vehicle & knew there was a distinct difference in what I heard. I checked outside my window & opened it, there was no airplane above, no train or any sound like it. It was as if it was rumbling, but the sound didn’t echo or move away like everything I’ve heard before, it was very odd & disturbing so I googled what I heard, then started learning more about mysterious sounds. Skyquakes, earthquakes, tectonics, sound waves, polar shifting, solar sounds through the sky, the earth making noises. I found out that not everyone can hear it, that it remains unsolved. I listened to others recording sounds only a few are similar to what I heard. I’m still very confused & don’t know what to think!
    The only way I can describe it best is it being like the skyquake rumbling from some kind of force, it sounded as if it did come from the sky but I don’t know for sure, I just don’t know. However it does help to know that I am not alone, that’s it’s happening worldwide, for awhile it seemed as if I was person that believed it which made me feel crazy until I learned about it as much as I could. I believe the earth does make natural sounds that have to do with our solar system & galaxy, the earth is a traveling space ship following the sun towards the center, when I thought about it more & more. It does make you wonder about the prophecies foretold, the events happening globally, the virus, & so much more that we are only beginning to understand completely if ever!

    1. I also live in Indianapolis and it also occurs around 4 am in the morning and lasts about 50 minutes. Birds are completely silent and then the hum stops and the birds start chirping again. It has been happening for at least two years, maybe more. At first I just thought it was airplanes circling overhead, either way, it wakes me up every time. It is so annoying, started doing google searches and found this site.

  6. I’m reading up on some of the stories around the internet. It could be possible that the noise comes from underground water/gas pipes coming into the house or drains. Water in the pipes is constantly moving and needs ventilation and moving air also makes a noise. Because it could be up to 6 feet deep it would change the sound frequency as it moves towards the house. People are also saying the humming keeps going after the main breaker is shut off so this may explain it. Just a thought.

  7. I have the same problem , I live in Romania ..I hear it quite often at different intensity. The odd thing is that when i move around the room (and i can only hear it in my bedroom) i cant hear it in some places in the room ..but more like feel it. Like a vibration . I called over some of my neighbours as soon as it stared cause they wouldnt believe me and they heard it as well . So i might not be crazy . Feeling like a pressure in my head and getting headaches constantly..waking me up at night around 4am…Glad to found out that im not the only one but the fact that we cant indentify the source freaks me out. Some theories says “people that can hear the hum have low frequency and that intteracts with other low frequency around” ….🤦😓 I m really confused

    1. I had experienced this at an alarming rate in loudness and vibration for most of 2020. It was awful. But in desperation i prayed and God removed them and ive been free since november 2020..thank God!

  8. I live in Newbury, MA and just started randomly hearing this and have been noticing it for about a week now. It’s the strangest thing and I can’t figure out where it’s coming from! I’m so glad I just stumbled across your article from nearby Ipswich!!!!

    1. I also live in Newbury and it started for me around the same time. It’s terrible at night in one part of the house and is impacting my sleep. I thought it might have something to do with being less than a mile from the train station, with the possibility of trains idling during the night, especially as it has gotten colder. It start around 9:30-10:00pm and seems to stop around 8:30am or so. Sorry for you, but also glad we’re not the only ones in this area hearing it!

      1. Hi Alex, is that Newbury Berkshire UK? If so I lived there most of my young life. I, and my mother, heard the Hum there in the 1970s and earlier.

    2. According to the information on the map above, it appears A LOT of reports happen around mass / north eastern US. I also live in Massachusetts. I can hear this noise in my bedroom the loudest, however when I open a window the sound seems to dissipate. It seems almost as if my bedroom is the only place this sound is amplified. I have tried to go outside to find the source of the hum, yet I am unable to hear it anywhere but my bedroom with my windows closed. It sounds as if a jet engine thousands of feet away, was taken and put directly above my home, due to its inescapable nature. Or how when a neighbor goes to mow their lawn, you can hear/feel the engine from your own home, yet there are no engines running. Truly it is maddening, and I believe that is the purpose.

  9. We here the hum in east Tx. We have lived here 16 yrs. At first we thought it was a truck idling .
    It is sometimes so loud and chages tones. My husband.says its coming from underground
    and he has mapped out 30 miles across that it can be heard.

  10. Hear it as well and also nice to know I’m not the only one. Really noticed it months ago, so I started paying more attention to try and figure out what it was. Usually hear it late at night also. From Kansas

  11. Hi! Im in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the humming is driving me crazy. No one else can hear it. I hear it mostly at night all the way into the morning. At first I thought it was the water heater or furnace because they are in my crawl space. I had technicians come to service them. It’s not the cause…there is nothing wrong and they are not making any sound. I did read up and found the gas line theory. There is a gas line right next to my home that could be the source. Either way, I’m annoyed.

  12. Boca Raton, Florida. I hear it every night. Thought I was going mad. It’s so loud I thought the tv was on in the other room at first or that someone was in my attic. Confirmed those were not the case. Then I thought it was my neighbors tv. Our houses are not close but I went out side in the middle of the night to see if it was that and confirmed it wasn’t. It sounds like a constant rumbling sound with base Here and there. It starts are 9-10pm and continues until 8-9am. I can’t hear it during the day.

  13. I live in Del Mar California, and I started hearing it about 2 months ago. It sounds like different very low tones. I hear it starting between 8-10pm, and I often hear what sounds like a very loud idling noise between it. It’s very bizarre. Does anyone else live in San Diego and hear it??

    1. YES! I too started hearing it about 2 months ago. I’m in San Marcos, CA not to far from you in Del Mar. Sounds just like a very loud idling noise between it. I’ve lived in the same house for 20 years and never heard it. We must keep in touch!

  14. I never even knew about this until last month when I was in the UK. I thought I was hearing things or there was something wrong with me until I confirmed with someone else about the noise. Now I have something new to research.

    The strangest part of the hum for me was that I only heard it at night and in a couple of the rooms of the house it could be heard better.

    1. yes! Same thing for me! and the upsetting part is that the loudest you can hear it is in my own room. It’s driving me crazy!

  15. January 24/21
    Atlanta,Kansas here. As in, in the middle of no where. Roughly 20 miles from Winfield, Kansas. We live on 800 acres here, and we hear the hum. Some days it seems to come from the south. Other days more to the north. And here, it starts about 3:00-4:00pm. And will last into the night. DRIVES ME CRAZY! Another thing, sometimes the hum will go on for weeks. Then………it may be 2 months or more before you hear it again. Both my husband and I hear it. We actually sleep at night with the TV on to [help] drown the sound. We never hear it durning the day. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen durning the day. We are cattle ranchers and usually are so busy in day time, we just never hear it. But we both hear it at night when it “comes back”.
    Thanks for listening. Read the other comments and it somehow helps to know I’m not alone, nor am I crazy.
    Cindi Gordon

  16. Live in Georgetown MA. Could never figure out what in my house was making the sound. Then I started hearing it outside. Night before last (01/28/2021) at about 4:15 I was clearing away some snow, It was absolutely roaring outside.

    It sounded like a fleet of large trucks idling a block away. There were no trucks. Never are. I do live relatively close to I-95, but I am able to filter out that automotive sound.

    This is a very different sound. My wife can hear it too as it happens often. Possibly more lately. Or perhaps I’ve always just ignored it like everyone else. Not sure, never really asked.

  17. I started hearing the hum in north San Diego, CA in December 2020. Any one else just start to hear the hum in the San Diego area recently?

    1. Quinn, yes!! Moved into a new place in North Park and am tortured by a hum that gets so loud and intense it’s hard to sleep and gives me headaches. Worst part is that no one else I know can hear it, though it feels like it’s rattling my entire house at times. I reallllly don’t want to relocate but don’t know how many more sleepless nights I can handle 😦

  18. I’ve heard it since a young teen , maybe younger as I remember vibrating my voice trying to mimic it as a child. What a shock it was to find out that everyone didn’t hear the sound of silence!!
    Yrs later hearing tested normal higher than normal in low tones?
    Don’t know if it has anything to do with it.. I always assumed it was a collective world sound or vibration.
    Now I know people who hear music at quiet times, they are perfectly sane and hearing is fine. One is my 12 yr old grandson who panicked and woke his mom when he noticed it for 1st time and couldn’t find anything playing sounds on..
    Now mom googles it and yup it’s mental illness, tinitus, .. or worse, why can’t they accept some people are more intuit in hearing their environment?
    Even astronauts heard music in space?
    They always put a negative label on anything they can’t explain.
    I know a girl who could see ghosts as a teen her parents put her on skitophenic medicine bc of advise of her Dr. It was only once she saw something..
    But nope you need to confirm it’s not normal to see spirits? It’s all vibrations and I think people who are sane and normal are seeing more and hearing more than they would ever admit. For fear of ridicule or worse…

    1. Hi Sissy, I too hear music that “isn’t there” – and I can’t explain it, so I enjoy it. I’m with you on the ‘whatever we can’t measure and name doesn’t exist’ — which applied to things like gravity and electricity until relatively recently. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

      1. December 19,2021

        Snowbird from Canada, came to Yuma AZ Dec 1,2021 & my husband & I could hear a low humming each night as we went to bed. Sounds like a train in the distance, or heavy traffic but that’s not the case here. I think we don’t notice so much in the day as we are busy not paying attention, I purposely listened during the day & could hear it then as well but all the surrounding noises drown it out; traffic, trains & planes. We are heading to CA next so will see if the noise follows us.

  19. I live in Ipswich Ma. I started hearing it about 5-7 years ago. I thought it was something in my house. I eventually flipped the switch on my house and it was still there. Then I went on a quest to find the source outside the house. I heard it day and night. I thought it was a trucking company or other industrial operation near me of which there are very few. It wasn’t. The sound/vibration comes and goes. I hadn’t heard it for awhile but just went through a few difficult days with it. When it comes it is maddening. A white noise machine helps at night but it doesn’t take it away. I have contributed to the Hum Map and applaud efforts to understand the cause/source(s).

  20. I live in Groveland and have periodically heard the “hum”. At times it sounds like a parked auto with some low frequency music playing. I have tried to localize the sound by opening and closing different windows trying to “pin point” where it is coming from. All I ever determine is: there are no parked vehicles where I am, the sound does not appreciably change in amplitude no matter which window I open, I cannot detect a “direction” from where it is coming.

  21. I live in Oklahoma City. I do not call the noise a hum but a rumbling mechanical sound like bulldozers ramming and working underground. There are hard thud sounds and constant low vibrating sounds. Have heard these sounds for probably 5 years or more during daytime or nightime. Each individual sound event lasts from say 30 seconds to maybe 10 minutes, but usually when one is heard, I will hear a series of them over several hours. I and my spouse and adult children when at my residence on occurrence can all hear it.

  22. I’ve heard this sound my whole life. It sounds like everyone else says, a low idling diesel vehicle in the distance, yuh-yuh-yuh-yuh-yuh-yuh-yuh-yuh. Something else that I hear and maybe is worth try for the others that hear the hum is I can hear/sense electronics. Example, I can hear/sense when electronics like tv’s or computers are on from the other rooms and even outside with the sound off on those electronics. Am I alone in this?

    1. I live in Connecticut and I started hearing the hum around a year ago. It just wasn’t quiet any more and I was unable to find the source of the noise within my home. When I told a friend I thought something was wrong with me because I heard a low constant noise, she told me about the hum. I usually hear it day and night, sometimes it is so loud I can hear it during conference calls with my head set on and sometimes it is actually quiet. I usually just try to ignore it as best I can because dwelling on the noise makes it much worse for me.

    2. I have been hearing this for at least 4 years. It’s maddening. My husband doesn’t hear it. I have thought about selling our house and moving but I don’t know if it would help. I cannot find the source but I do know it is NOT tinnitus. It makes sleeping nearly impossible at times. I decided research it and found this article. I am glad I am not alone but also sad others suffer. I live in Catlettsburg Kentucky.

    3. I developed Electrosensitivity in spring 2013. For a long time I couldn’t even enter a room if an electric light was switched on. Are you a member of any ES groups for support?

    4. I can hear it too Jack, exactly as you are saying. Moved in July 2019 and was free from it till the start of lockdown in the UK. Interestingly, i have been using an EMF meter for the last couple of months, always gets worse for me at night, but last night seemed so bad and the EMF readings were 20% higher last night. Weird thing is, my side of the bed reads worse than my husband’s. He cant hear it. I might try earthing the coils in the mattress in the hope it helps. Perhaps the metal coils amplify it somehow. It’s driving me barmy!
      Hope you’re coping well with it.

    5. I am new to the hum as it seem to have started late summer, my husband and son cannot hear it! We tried turning the breaker box off and I still heard it …so hard to explain the digital low pulsing hum! Frustrated because they think I am crazy. So thankful for all of these comments and knowing I am not alone!
      Holding my ears in Quakertown Pennsylvania!

    6. Omg! I just moved to Lancaster, SC. When I first moved, (and THE reason I moved) was for the peace and quiet. It WAS for about a month. It was perfect! Now, I am slowly being tortured by this constant hum – it sounds like a transformer or something – it is the same pattern: three short hums, followed by a long hum, and again and again…all during the day, and when I come back home in the evening! I literally walked up and down the road seeking for the source – perhaps some large electrical box type thing gone array?? It truly is making me feel ill – and driving me insane! I can still hear it over my sound machine WITH earplugs, and even when I’m watching something on the computer – it NEVER stops. EVER. I truly feel like I will lose my mind and have no idea what to do! If anyone can suggest anything, please please help!! Thank you.

  23. I’ve heard it since 2010. I have sound machines around my house. I need 2 in my bedroom so I can fall asleep.
    I hear it inside, outside, different locations far and wide, morning and night. Pretty much 24/7.
    It drives me crazy as I can’t just experience silence. I would cherish reading a book without background noise.

    1. me too!!! I live in Surrey B.C. I can’t even put my head to the pillow because I can hear the hum through the ground.. it even resonates and vibrates through the floor and from my wall acoustics.

  24. I hear it every single night.. ughh it makes me crazy at night, i have to sleep with sounds in room because i cant stand it silent and that alone in my ears.. it sounds like electric in my walls Pausating.. it makes my inner ear vibrate.. it sounds like its in walls but when outside i hear it as well.. whats weird is i do not hear it during day at allll!! Around 9-10 it stars and does it all night till sun comes up! i truly hope its figured out soon cause i cant take it much longer..

    1. I live in Northern NSW Australia. Have been earing this low frequency hum for over two yeas now and it frustrates me to no end. Have even changed location and still hear it. I am the same I am always trying to find the source but can’t. It is not tinnitus as the doctors like to keep telling me. It all started when the local council of my previous address changed over all of their water pumps both in the water and sewerage systems as well as changing all of the street lights from a dull light orange glow to a bright white. Ever since life has been a nightmare. As other people have commented, I too find that my family don’t hear it either. I wish it would stop as sleep is near impossible.

      (Since March 2019)

      1. This low continuous hum also caused myself to now suffer from migraines and severe vertigo. I too can feel the vibration and have resorted to putting rubber sound blocks under the legs of my bed. I use ear plugs to help with the vibration but not to block out the outside noise that I need to hear to help to block out the hum. Nothing seems to work in the medication line of things and music therapy is soothing when able to play it without annoying everyone else in the house. Have complained to almost every noise and environmental pollution company in NSW but no help either. I feel and hear it, it vibrates the ground I walk on inside and outside and makes it very difficult for me to now drive because i don’t know when it is going to affect me and bring on severe and sudden vertigo with vomiting. It is debilitating and frustrating. Medical personnel don’t have any answers either to help. Tanya Northern NSW Australia. This is physical debilitating pain.

      2. I can only hear it in the house, mostly at night, but can hear it in the day time when tv and radio not on. In Vallejo, Ca. I need it to stop.

      3. I am so glad it is not just me, truely thought it was just in my brain.
        I am glad to know there are other ‘humers’ out there and even across the globe.
        Makes me feel better about it and I hope I’ll be less effected by it now I have a better idea about it.
        I doubt we will ever know if there is an actual cause, but is nice not to be alone with it.
        Hang in there fellow Humers!

  25. This is very interesting. I live in Amesbury MA and I have heard this the past few years. At first I thought it was the sound of traffic on RT 495, but in the middle of the night the hum is too regular to be coming from the sparse traffic in those wee hours. I hear it mostly from 2 to 5 am but have heard it earlier at times. I have tinnitus but this is a completely different sound. Ear plugs and an air filter tune it out to some extent but I’m still aware of it. Sometimes I can feel the vibration from it.

  26. Update to this article by the author: Last winter (while we were hibernating because of the virus), I didn’t hear the hum for several months. The streets of our town seemed practically deserted, but this summer there seems to be more traffic than ever. Not only has the hum returned, –lately I hear it throughout the day anywhere in my house.

  27. Oh my God I thought I was going crazy. I found this because I have experiencing this for a few weeks now and I’m seeing and ENT tomorrow.
    It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced and I was kinda freaked out about it.
    I hear a hum sometimes but at other times it seems to sound like low frequency voices… but not voices you could make out.. I can’t really describe it.
    Thank you for writing the article.
    My sanity is restored.

    1. I live just outside London, England and have heard a buzzing sound now for about a month. It seems quieter outside than inside but i still hear it. My neighbours don’t. I bought noise cancelling earplugs but they omly make it slightly quiter. I am having difficulty sleeping and it is driving me crazy. Any advice would be appreciated

  28. First heard the hum in 1970s, moved 300 miles north and didn’t hear it again until 2009. That hum stopped 7/2010 then another, the current hum started 1/2011. Sounded as if some new equipment was being installed on a major industry, ie powergrid or wired telephone/broadband. The new sound came closer until it was blasting through my home. There’s not much here, an isolated uk valley, power grid, telephone/broadband through wires and several coms masts, its one of these things. The hum has destroyed a decade of my life. It has damaged my nervous system. I have proof the industry causing the hum know they are responsible but they havnt done anything to stop it.

  29. Low-frequency noise originates from distant industry.
    Hull and Nahant are equally distant from potential sources: Boston Harbor and the airport, which are classic sources of low frequency noise.
    Low-frequency noise has low attenuation, so it can reach distant locations. The temperature inversion during the night makes it reach farther through sound refraction, so it “comes from the sky”.
    Other typical sources are heavy equipment used in quarries and landfills, power plants and general industry.

  30. I visited Washington state last month, during our visit we would go down to the river for fun. One day my daughter and daughter in-law caught something in video! It started with ripples in the water, going in the opposite direction of the already light ripples from the air, then static on the phone and then tiny fish jumping above the water! Also dizziness, nausea, and headaches occurred. What is this unexplained noise/phenomenon? We are still baffled to this day.

    1. Hi all,
      I live in the south of Poland, I have been hearing hum for over a year..
      The sound resembles the hum of a machine, a car, somewhere in the distance.
      It appears mainly at night, in the morning, but sometimes I also hear it in the car after turning off the engine.
      It appears and disappears, is heard, and stops for a moment.
      I’m glad I’m not alone … maybe I’ll find someone from Poland who can also hear this.

      1. Have you checked out fb groups The Hum and The Hum Tone Sufferers? I live in Cumbria UK and have been hearing the Hum for over a decade 24/7/365 incredibly loud and powerful.

      2. Hi Mag, I live in Warsaw. I use to hear the same kind of sounds for a few years which drove me crazy. At beginning I thought there must be a car running it’s diesel engine somewhere around but couldn’t locate it. Later i thought it maight be something related to underground works – second line of tube or something like that as there was no difference if a window was opened or not. Now it passed but I become convinced that it was something in my head. Don’t know but maybe a blood circulation in partially stucked arteria labyrinthi due to high cholesterol levle, haha. Since I started driving a bicycle very intensively it stopped comming back. During pandemy lockdown when I stopped driving for almost a year it came back once but I started driving again and forgot about this issue again. Hope it will never get back as it was so annoying.
        Now I am not sure if I lost hearing hipersensivity due to bicycling or I fixed something in my circulation system but I am very happy that I got rid of it.

      3. I just moved to outside of Prague, Czech Republic. In fact, this is my first night in my new house and I can now hear this sound. I didn’t hear it when I lived in the city.

  31. It’s back! 21st October 2021. This low, two tone almost pure sine wave (random flip between tones) woke me at 5:20 am this morning in Kent (UK). Having heard ‘the hum’ on various occasions over the last ten years I know it’s not anything local (like many, I started with the initial house and neighborhood searches*). I haven’t experienced this sound for over a year, so for those who are wondering – it does come and go. *It is defintely something that travels great distances as I’ve experienced the hum in locations miles apart, and it clearly has two tones, possibly an octave apart. Oddly this flip in tones is common, but not always present. It’s not a mechanical sound, it’s not tinitus or anything internal. The switch between tones is moderately fast and has been in the past been very fast, almost digital in its change. Today it was the former. It stopped this morning around 6:30am.

    1. Thanks for the great article. I’m from France. Ever since I moved last year to a city near the seaside and near an airport I’ve started hearing the hum (never before). At first I thought it was a truck engine nearby as I could feel the vibrations. I believe that the 2-4% people hearing the hum throughout the world are those with above-average hearing (my case since childhood).

  32. Been living I. Rowley ma since Jan 2010. Just heard something I would describe as a low rumble. Could be anything though. It was not a plane, was not constant, and was loud enough to make my concerned. Just not sure what I am concerned about. I’m always outside. I have just never noticed this before. 10:45 PM November 12, 2021. A clear night after a mild and wet Nor-Easter.

  33. I am new to the hum as it seem to have started late summer, my husband and son cannot hear it! We tried turning the breaker box off and I still heard it …so hard to explain the digital low pulsing hum! Frustrated because they think I am crazy. So thankful for all of these comments and knowing I am not alone!
    Holding my ears in Quakertown Pennsylvania!

  34. I would bet any money these noises and hums that you are hearing are coming from the DUMBS – deep underground military bases. They are all throughout the country and coincide with your map of the US.

  35. I live in Wichita Kansas and I have been waking up to a low hum outside anywhere from 1130pm to 2am.

  36. Randomly stumbled across this article while I was researching something else, but I too have heard a weird hum. I was working in the Midland TX area, and there was a constant noise under 20hz that was about the volume of a normal conversation. It drove me nuts. I figured it had something to do with all the oil pumps.

  37. West London sufferer here.
    I started hearing it in 2019 (Sept?).
    Very similar experience to many of the other commenters here – tends to be more noticeable around 10pm onwards, louder in some parts of the house, generally don’t hear outside; except this weekend (28-29/05/2022) it’s been so loud I found I could also hear it (more quietly) outside. Went for a walk to see if it would shed any light. Could hear it within about a 500m radius of my house. Seemed a bit louder in some places, but hard to tell as hard to hear when there’s other masking noises (planes overhead, traffic etc).
    Interestingly, just like the author, I made a specific note that it was substantially less noticeable over the second lock-down period, i.e. late 2020 from late Oct to early Dec, similarly I think it was pretty quiet during the first lockdown too (I only really started making notes in summer 2020).

      1. I have been hearing this since 2018 I live in the U.K near the Eco Park and I’m sure it comes from there to me it’s more of a pulsating vibration noise it hurts my ears as I’m writing this at 02:25 Monday morning.Mostly hear it at night but can hear it during the day inside and outside Had the Environmental Agency out borrow some recording equipment and I managed to record it on tape which they are looking into.

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