The Taos Hum: A Mysterious Sound That Plagues a Small Town

The Taos Hum: A Mysterious Sound That Plagues a Small Town

Have you ever heard a low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise that seems to come from nowhere? If you live in Taos, New Mexico, you might be one of the few people who can hear the so-called "Taos Hum". This elusive sound has been baffling residents and researchers for decades, and no one knows for sure what causes it or where it comes from.

What is the Taos Hum?

The Taos Hum is a name given to a persistent and invasive sound that some people in Taos and nearby areas claim to hear. It is usually described as a low-pitched whir, hum, or buzz that can vary in intensity and frequency. Some people say it sounds like a diesel engine idling in the distance, while others compare it to a refrigerator or a fan. The sound is more noticeable at night and indoors, and it can interfere with sleep and concentration.

The Taos Hum was first reported in the early 1990s, when some residents complained to local authorities and media about the annoying noise. A survey conducted by a professor of engineering at the University of New Mexico found that about 2% of the population could hear it, each at a different frequency between 32 Hz and 80 Hz. The survey also revealed that there was not a single identifiable Taos Hum, but rather several different ones that people reported.

What are the possible explanations for the Taos Hum?

The origin and nature of the Taos Hum remain unknown, despite several attempts to measure and locate it. Some of the possible explanations that have been proposed include:

- Local mechanical sources, such as industrial plants, power lines, gas pipelines, or traffic noise.

- Atmospheric phenomena, such as air turbulence, jet streams, or electromagnetic waves.

- Biological auditory effects, such as tinnitus, ear damage, or hearing sensitivity.

- Psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety, suggestion, or hallucination.

- Paranormal phenomena, such as secret government experiments, alien activity, or spiritual vibrations.

None of these explanations have been conclusively proven or disproven, and some of them are more plausible than others. Some researchers have suggested that the Taos Hum may be a combination of different factors that affect different people in different ways.

How does the Taos Hum affect the people who hear it?

The Taos Hum can have various effects on the people who hear it, depending on their individual perception and reaction. Some of the common effects include:

- Irritation, annoyance, frustration, or anger.

- Disturbance of sleep quality and quantity.

- Impairment of concentration, memory, or performance.

- Headaches, dizziness, nausea, or ear pain.

- Depression, anxiety, paranoia, or isolation.

Some people who hear the Taos Hum have tried various methods to cope with it or block it out, such as using earplugs, headphones, white noise machines, or music. Others have sought medical or psychological help to deal with the physical or mental symptoms. Some have even moved away from Taos to escape the noise.

Is the Taos Hum unique to Taos?

The Taos Hum is not the only mysterious sound that has been reported around the world. In fact, there are dozens of other places where similar hums have been heard by some people but not by others. Some of these places include Bristol and Largs in the UK; Bondi and Auckland in Australia; Windsor and Vancouver in Canada; Kokomo and Seattle in the US; Frankfurt and Darmstadt in Germany; and many more.

These hums are sometimes named after the locality where they have been most publicized, such as the "Bristol Hum" or the "Windsor Hum". They may vary in their characteristics and causes, but they share some common features with the Taos Hum. They are all low-frequency sounds that are selective, persistent, widespread, and unexplained.

What can be done about the Taos Hum?

The Taos Hum remains a mystery that challenges our understanding of sound and perception. It also raises questions about how we cope with unwanted noises in our environment and how they affect our well-being. There is no easy solution to this problem,

but there are some possible steps that can be taken to address it:

- Conduct more scientific research to identify and measure the source(s) of the sound and its impact on human health.

- Raise public awareness and education about the phenomenon and its possible explanations.

- Provide support and assistance to the people who hear it and suffer from it.

- Implement noise reduction measures and regulations to minimize environmental noise pollution.

- Respect and listen to the experiences of those who hear it and those who don't.

The Taos Hum may never be fully solved, but it can be better understood and managed if we work together and keep an open mind.


(1) What is the Taos Hum? | Live Science.

(2) The Hum - Wikipedia.

(3) The Taos Hum: The Unsolved Mystery - Mysterioustrip.

(4) The Taos Hum mystery in New Mexico - Strange Sounds.

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