In the room of dead silence, people panic

Complete silence, only your own body noises. The heartbeat, the cracking of the joints, swallowing, the rumbling stomach. Perception fixes on it, making these tones appear louder than usual. There is nothing else than that, and that scares some people. Some panic and want to get out again after a few seconds, while others find inner peace. Microsoft’s dead-quiet room is the quietest room in the world.

Psssst! It doesn’t get any quieter.

The phenomenon of grave silence: an experience that touches the psyche

The noise level in this room at Microsoft headquarters in Washington is -20.6 decibels. Engineers have been testing various newly developed devices here since 2015, including microphones. Human ears perceive noises above 0 decibels, which does not mean that there is nothing below it. Our breathing generates about 10 decibels, a whisper makes it about 30 decibels. Sound that we do not perceive is in the minus range. When he alone surrounds us, it is extremely unusual at first. An experience that touches the psyche and triggers a wide variety of reactions. Even dizziness is part of it.

Any outside noise is attenuated by 110 decibels

The people at Microsoft spent eight months looking for the right building, after which they built this special room for another two years. They packed six chambers into one another, each surrounded by a layer of concrete. The innermost chamber is supported by 86 springs, which clearly dampen every oscillation. There is no direct contact with the building. Every noise that makes it to the innermost room is reduced by 110 decibels. The room itself has 40 square meters of space and is lined with sound-insulating foam.

LeSalle Munroe, who works every day in this unusual office, says: “It’s like being in another world. You hear things that you normally wouldn’t notice. It gives you a new perspective «. No wonder, since nature doesn’t know this silence.


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