'What do you have and need but rarely notice?'


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The Independent Online

Background noise. Yes, you need this. In 2005, Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota built an anechoic chamber that absorbs 99.99 per cent of the sound in it. The room is composed of three-foot-thick fibreglass wedges, double walls of insulated steel, and 12-inches-worth of concrete. The noise level of the interior measures at -9.4 decibels, and it has been certified as the quietest place on Earth*.

Here's the crazy part. The room makes you hallucinate.

Your brain constantly uses the noise around you to help you stay oriented. The room takes these cues away, making it hard for you to balance and manoeuvre.

Meanwhile, your ears get more sensitive as they adjust to the lack of noise. You start to notice sounds like the beating of your heart and the movements of your scalp over your skull. Eventually, you begin having aural hallucinations in an attempt to satisfy the sensory inputs your brain craves. No one has ever lasted more than 45 minutes inside the room.

Most of us could use a little peace and quiet. But this? I think I'll pass.

*Humans begin to hear sounds at 0 decibels.

Alex Suchman

Elbows. Take a moment to imagine how frustrating your life would be if your arms were constantly straight and could not bend.

Putting on shirts would become a real hassle. You would not be able to bring any food up to your mouth. No more teeth brushing. No more nose picking. No more push-ups. No more back scratching. No more hugging.

A lot of regular things would all of a sudden become very difficult to accomplish.

Rieve Bule

Life. It is one of the most taken-for-granted things. The only day we will notice it is the day we are on our death-bed.

Chandresh Kakliya


Devesh Gogia


Susan Ng


Liam Gorman


David Higgins

Underfloor heating!

Marius Van Den Berg


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