Scientist solves mystery of the Plymouth hum


Plymouth is situated on the south coast of England.
A mysterious humming noise that has been driving residents round the bend may be coming from the sea.

Possible explanations for the low-pitched din, which has been plaguing the area for years, have included everything from wind turbines and power lines to extraterrestrial visitation, but now a scientist from France believes that he may have finally found the answer.

Fabrice Ardhuin, a senior research scientist at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, maintains that the noise is caused by the pressure of ocean waves vibrating on the sea floor.

Its low frequency means that only a small percentage of people can actually hear it at all – a factor that has contributed extensively to the difficulties experienced in tracking down its source.

The first time it was reported was all the way back in the 1970s and it is still heard even to this day.

“I have heard it several times over the last few weeks and then on Monday and Tuesday this week,” said Plymouth resident Pat Finnie. “You begin to wonder whether it’s you, your ears, but my husband said he could hear it too, and he doesn’t usually notice it.”

Even if Ardhuin’s explanation of the phenomenon is correct however it may be of little consolation as there is nothing that can stop the sounds of the ocean waves save for a good pair of ear plugs.