Finding quaint travel spots in the world is quite a rare phenomenon these days. But it’s not true. The world is full of quiet places that only speak of silence, only if you can handle not hearing literally anything! While some of the quietest places are ‘naturally quiet’, some are man-made too.
Here are the quietest places on Earth, where you might even end up hearing the sound of your own body. Are you ready?
Orfield Laboratories, Minnesota
A former Guinness World Record holder, the Orfield Laboratories were created for acoustic research and are 99.9 percent sound absorbent, with a background noise level reading of minus 9.4 dBA (decibels A-weighted).
The room is designed with layers of concrete and steel lined with crosshatched insulation surrounding it. It’s basically a room within a room within a room, with a mesh floor…and imagine that being suspended!
The room has no background noise, and no sound transmission, making the quiet kind of unbearable to an average human ear.
The room is also open to the public. If you’re in here for half an hour, you can hear the blood flowing through veins. You can hear the movement of your joints as you move arms and legs.
Microsoft’s Anechoic Chamber
This place holds the Guinness World Records for being the quietest place on Earth. Microsoft’s anechoic chamber at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington is kind of Microsoft’s audio lab.
The sound level in the room goes down to minus 20.3 decibels, which is at the limits of physics. Basically, it is as quiet as the sound made by the dust particle in the air.
The room has a mesh floor and is surrounded on six sides by sound-absorbing wedges. The room is used to test the technology where sound and audio are very important, like their Cortana personal assistant. People have described the room as “oppressively quiet” with just a weird humming in the ear, that makes you feel like you’re entering a cave.
Olympic National Park, Washington
‘One Square Inch of Silence’ in Washington’s Olympic National Park is located within the Hoh Rainforest area of the park. The little patch of silence was created by Emmy-winning acoustic-ecologist Gordon Hempton.
Mosses and ferns carpet the floor of the forest, absorbing the sounds even more.
Hempton persuaded three airlines — Alaska, Hawaiian and American — to reroute training and maintenance flights around this inch of silence. So it’s that quiet!
Kielder Mires, England
Northumberland’s Kielder Mires is the largest area of blanket bog and is considered to be the quietest place in Britain.
Found just inside the Cumbrian border and less than 10 miles from Scotland, the place is also called Border Mires, with around 60 peat bogs—which store precious amounts of carbon, thus negating the effect of global warming.
The place is so silent and still that Richard Mellor wrote,
“The stillness suddenly feels eerie, and I want to make a phone call, to hear another voice. Too bad: There’s no phone signal for miles.”
Haleakalā Crater, Maui
Haleakalā National Park on the Hawaiian island of Maui is home to the two miles high dormant Haleakalā volcano. The volcano’s crates is a picturesque tourist spot, that gives you the honor to experience a stunning sunrise and sunset, check out flora and fauna in complete silence. Book your tour here or watch a live webcam here.
The noise level inside the crater is just 10 dBA, which is the same as the noise level you make when you breathe
Grand Canyon National Park, US
With around 5 million visitors every year, it’s difficult to digest that the Grand Canyon can make it to the list. But it does have a few quiet spots, only if you know where to look and where not to ( especially the South Rim)
The Grand Canyon spans over 2 million square miles, with silent spots with noise levels as low as 18 to 23 dBA, according to the National Park Service.
One such place is the Havasu Canyon — it’s 2,400 feet below the rim and home to the 600-member Havasupai tribe. The nearest town is an eight-mile, four-hour hike up the canyon, followed by a two-hour drive. Check this complete guide to Havasu Canyon Falls for more information.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Located in northeastern Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a no man’s world, literally disconnected from the world with no roads leading to or from the place. Only 1500 people visit each other, but the pristine landscape is replete with stunning species of flora and fauna.
As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says, “you are days away from the bustle of human activity”, this place is not for the faint-hearted. The place stays quiet from fall to spring but in the summers, expect a constant background with birdsongs.