The world’s quietest room might sound like a pretty relaxing place, but it’s actually so silent that most people can’t stand to be in it for more than a few minutes.
The specially created chamber absorbs around 99.9 percent of sound and is mainly used for conducting experiments - although it has become a bit of an unlikely tourist spot with people keen to check it out for themselves. Rather them than me.
To give you some context, your average room measures around 30 decibels at night, whereas the lab drops to -24.9 decibels, according to the Guinness World Records.
Designed by Stephen Orfield, the area comprises a large masonry and concrete chamber, with a smaller steel chamber supported on vibration absorbing springs inside that.
Inside this second space, the interior walls are lined with a layer of heavy insulation covered with glass-fibre wedges.
And the room is so quiet that people struggle to spend more than a few minutes inside before the lack of noise starts to affect them.
"We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark," said Orfield.
"When it's quiet, ears will adapt. The quieter the room, the more things you hear.
"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."
Well, that sounds absolutely horrible, doesn’t it?
Orfield himself said in 2018 that he managed to stay inside for an impressive 45-minutes, but went on to detail: "I have a mechanical heart valve, I can always hear it clearly."
But that certainly doesn’t seem to put people off, in the same interview, Orfield revealed: “We get thousands of requests. Members of the public visit from around the world almost every week, and they are just about always excited by the experience.
"There is no sceptical reaction, as this is simply a bodily experience, and there's nothing to learn or believe.”
The lab has opened itself up to visitors, meaning anyone who fancies an extreme bit of peace and quiet is free to check it out for themselves.
But it’s not cheap - a visit to the room will set you back $600 (£527) per hour, per person.
And you know, there’s the whole ‘you become the sound’ thing to put up with, too.Featured Image Credit: Orfield Labs