Taos, New Mexico has an air of mystery about it, but not just because it’s home to so many artists and other free spirits. It’s also the home of the Taos hum, a deep, persistent thrumming sound with no apparent source. Not everybody can hear it, but some folks claim to be able to. I haven’t made it to New Mexico yet, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to or not, but I’m anxious to give it a try, to see if I’m one of the “lucky” 2%.
I doubt that it’s made up, because Taos doesn’t seem to be profiting from the hum. They aren’t selling tiny hum generators as souvenirs, though perhaps they sell more earplugs there than other towns do, but mostly what the hum seems to be good for is bothering people. It bothers some folks so much, in fact, that in 1993 a bunch of people in Taos that could hear the sound actually petitioned the federal government to find out what was causing the sound. As is so often the case with government projects and government spending, they never came up with anything definitive, yet studies continue.
While the Taos hum is the most famous weird noise in the U.S., we don’t have a corner on the strange sound market. The UK has experienced a similar phenomenon in Bristol, and about 800 people complained of an odd sound that was making them physically ill, disturbing sleep, and even causing dizziness. That one was never solved, either. Hums also show up in Hawaii, where the noise is explained by underground volcanic activity and other places, such as Auckland, New Zealand, where it seems that nobody is quite sure of the cause.
Theories for the Taos hum abound, of course. Some folks pin it on some kind of alien or UFO activity, while others blame the military or on projects such as the HAARP ionosphere project in Alaska. Many people attribute the noise to some type of geological anomaly, but they really can’t explain why it never seems to stop, why only some people can hear it, and why microphones and other recording devices aren’t able to register the noise.
To this day there’s no good answer about the Taos hum, and the noise continues not only there but in other places throughout the United States and around the world. It may just be background noise created by our electronic society, as some think, but perhaps there’s something else going on, something a bit more mysterious, like ET phoning home or something. We may never know.