We’re here with another answer to a reader-submitted question. This one comes from Robert, who asks, “What would a room with absolutely no sound be like?”
Rooms with no sound actually have a name, they’re called anechoic chambers, meaning that they are designed to completely absorb reflections of sound and are also insulated from exterior sources of noise.
Believe it or not there is a anechoic chamber in Minnesota that holds the Guinness World Record for World’s Quietest Room. The room is built with fiberglass acoustic wedges that are 3-feet thick and it has double walls of insulated steel and one-foot thick concrete. The room is so well insulated that the room can absorb 99.99% of outside sound. Typically the room is used to test the loudness of certain products without any outside distractions or sounds.
Interestingly, human testing is rarely done in the room because it can drive a person crazy. In fact, the longest someone’s been able to stay in the room is 45-minutes. But why?
It’s because your body adapts to the silence. Meaning that your ears start picking up your heartbeat, your stomach movements or your lungs to levels that they aren’t used to. There are lots and lots of tiny and off noises that come from our bodies, most of which we never hear because of ambient sound. But the lack of sound in this room also messes with your sense of perception. This is because our inner ear helps reach balance through sound cues when you walk. They say that people who are in there for even thirty minutes begin to lose the ability to function. Take a virtual tour of the chamber in the video below:
So the next time that you ask for a little peace and quiet, just make sure you don’t get too much.