My best buddy Dan sent me a link to this really cool Sound Pressure Decibel Level Chart. It starts with the quietest sound ever measured and works its way up to the loudest. The first entry reads:
-80 UNDERWATER NUCLEAR SUBMARINE MICROPHONES LISTENING TO SHRIMP CHEWING ON FOOD AT 100 METERS DISTANCENow that is pretty quiet, right. As it moves up the list, some of the louder things tend to sound familiar:
That seems about like my experience. Sit on the front row of a Rock and Roll show, or sit next to a loud drummer in band rehearsal and the low frequencies will make your pants legs vibrate. Also, your ears ring that night and maybe the next day or two. (If the drummer was Lee Susky.)
116 HUMAN BODY BEGINS TO PERCIEVE VIBRATION IN THE LOW FREQUENCIES
117-123 HOME STEREO SYSTEM, A VERY LOUD AND POWERFUL 200-2000 WATTS
120-130 FRONT ROW AT A ROCK CONCERT- UP TO 200 REFRIGERATOR SIZE SPEAKERS AND 50000-300000 WATTS OF CLEAN, FULL FREQUENCY SOUND
125 DRUM SET-ONLY AT THE MOMENT OF STRIKING, CONTINOUS LEVEL
127 HUMAN TINNITUS (RINGING IN THE EARS) BEGINS
Things start to get real loud after that.
I love The Who, but I am not really sure why you would want a concert experience to be very uncomfortable and slightly painful, let alone VERY UNCOMFORTABLE AND SLIGHTLY PAINFUL. On the other hand, having my breathing vibrating to the sound might be kinda neat.
148 HUMAN VIBRATION VERY UNCOMFORTABLE AND SLIGHTLY PAINFUL
149 HUMAN LUNGS AND BREATHING BEGINS VIBRATING TO THE SOUND
150 ROCK CONCERT “THE WHO” TWO 10 STORY STACKS = 144 DOUBLE REFRIDGERATOR SIZED SPEAKERS
(Side note: Once in college I was rehearsing with my band, Electric Church, at the HSU Phi Lamb house during the summer break. We were under the influence of moderate amounts of various mood enhancers, and mostly working on 'Jam in E' for about 40 minutes at a stretch. There was this old ceiling fan in the room. One of those big ol' heavy ones that vibrated back and forth at a moderate tempo. After about an hour of rehearsal we realized that no matter what tempo the song started, soon enough the ceiling fan would be playing quarter notes for us.)
Now this is the part for Al Gore. The loudest sound ever recorded on the earth.
310 KRAKATOA VOLCANO ERUPTION-1883 A.D.
- CRACKED ONE FOOT THICK CONCRETE AT 300 MILES
- CREATED A 3000 FOOT TIDAL WAVE
- HEARD 3100 MILES AWAY
- SOUND PRESSURE CAUSED BAROMETERS TO FLUCTUATE WILDLY AT 100 MILES INDICATING LEVELS OF AT LEAST 170-190 DB AT THIS DISTANCE
- EVEN WHEN SHOUTING IN SOMEONES EAR, COULD NOT BE HEARD AT 100 MILES
- CAUSED FOG TO APPEAR AND DISAPPEAR INSTANTLY AT HUNDREDS OF MILES
- ROCKS WERE THROWN TO A HEIGHT OF 34 MILES.
- DUST AND DEBRIS FELL CONTINUOUSLY FOR 10 DAYS AFTER BLAST.
- PRODUCED VERY COLORFUL SUNSETS FOR ONE YEAR
- EJECTED 4 CUBIC MILES OF THE EARTH
- CREATED ANTI-NODE OF NEGATIVE PRESSURE AT THE EXACT OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE EARTH
- SOUND COVERED 1 / 10 OF THE WORLDS SURFACE
- SHOCK (SOUND) WAVES “ECHOED” AROUND THE EARTH 36 TIMES AND LASTED FOR ABOUT A MONTH!
I am pretty sure that this represents more pollution than human kind can put into the air, even with our grandest doomsday machines. Notice this it caused pretty sunsets, not the flooding of Manhattan.