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Inside quietest place on earth where no one has lasted longer than 55 minutes
Featured Image Credit: Microsoft/YouTube

Inside quietest place on earth where no one has lasted longer than 55 minutes

Few can stand the silence for long

Life is busy isn't it? And it can also be pretty noisy too, so a bit of peace and quiet once in a while is certainly a nice thing.

Well, you'd think that but the quietest place on earth has left those who enter it feeling very uneasy, to the point all have left after less than an hour.

Would you be able to hack it? Take a look:

Microsoft built the quietest place on earth in 2015 and it took two years to design.

Located at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, the anechoic (literally 'free from echo') chamber may sound like a haven - especially for those of us with noisy neighbours - or the perfect place for yoga practice, but few can stand the silence for long.

The complete silence in the room will also lead to you hearing ringing in your ears.

“The longest continuous time anyone has spent inside the chamber is about 55 minutes,” Hundraj Gopal at Microsoft told CNN.

Steve Orfield, who also has a aneochoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota, told The Daily Mail that the body begins to adapt to soundlessness, adding: "You'll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly. In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound."

And because there are no external sounds, even moving around becomes hard.

"If you're in there for half an hour, you have to be in a chair," he added.

Take a look inside Microsoft's anechoic chamber.

The sensory deprivation can sometimes be debilitating, with NASA astronauts starting their space training in a tank of water as the body can create hallucinations due to the lack of sensations in thin air.

In a video shared on Microsoft’s YouTube channel, Principal Human Factors Engineer Gopal Gopal, takes viewers inside their chamber.

The speech and hearing scientist explains how the 80Hz anechoic chamber works.

The isolated chamber is built from six layers of concrete and steel to block out the sound from outside the room.

It also holds the Guinness record for World’s Quietest Place, with a sound level which is 20 decibels below what humans can hear.

It is covered with fiberglass wedges on the ceiling, floor and walls, which break up sound waves before they can reverberate back into the chamber.

Outside the anechoic chamber.

Not only do the wedges look like a cool set piece from a futuristic sci-fi film, but they absorb 99.999 percent of the sound from the chamber. Low frequencies get ‘trapped’ further back while higher frequencies are ‘completely absorbed’.

The chamber also sits on top of vibration damping springs.

Instead of a floor, Gopal stands atop steel cables. He talks directly to the camera and his voice sounds normal, but incredibly, when he rotates around the room, the sound of his voice fades.

In another mind-blowing moment, Gopal educates viewers on how the chamber blocks out sound from the outside by opening a door.

With the door open, we can hear loud heavy metal music while working from an engineer working in another room. All the noise - or audio art for the metal lovers - is then killed inside the chamber once the door closed.

The chamber serves an incredible purpose when developing new audio technologies.

When the door is open, loud heavy metal can be heard from the other room.

Gopal explains: “From measuring Xbox’s console fan noise for example, or the components in a surface - some of the components make sounds - very low level - but they are they, we measure them in this clean environment which is the purest form of recording without being interference from the walls or from the outside.

“So, we better our products for audio performance. Anything to do with audio where we have microphones, loudspeakers to measure distortion, or for surface products, our consoles - these types of chambers become extremely important for us.”

Topics: News, Science, Microsoft