Being a Bristolian by birth I grew up hearing about the mysterious Bristol hum and although during my childhood in the 1980s I lived just a few miles outside of the city I can remember hearing the low frequency drone of the hum whilst lying in bed at night and I must admit to finding it extremely creepy indeed. But Bristol wasnt the only city to be affected by the erroneous disquietude. It seems people from all over the world have experienced the sound which has commonly been described as similar to a badly tuned diesel engine idling. The world wide range of the hum can be seen on this MAP that has been put together from data gathered by  Dr. Glen MacPherson from Britsh Columbia, Canada.

As you will see from viewing the map there has been a report from every continent on the planet with most reports coming from the more densely populated areas. What we can glean from a quick glance at the map isn’t much. For instance it probably isn’t surprising that there are fewer reports from developing countries due to lack of internet connections and maybe even cultural reasons. But what it does show us is that the Hum is heard world wide, and as we will see it has caused many people a great deal of discomfort and has even been blamed for some people taking their own lives.

Reports of the Hum started coming into the public arena some time in the 1970’s with my home town of Bristol being at the forefront. With hundreds of city residents complaining that the sound was stopping them from sleeping and quite literally driving them mad and others claiming it was the cause of headaches and even nose bleeds.

In an interview with the BBC Retired head teacher Katie Jacques of Leeds U.K said:

“It’s a kind of torture; sometimes, you just want to scream It’s worst at night, it’s hard to get off to sleep because I hear this throbbing sound in the background … You’re tossing and turning, and you get more and more agitated about it. It has a rhythm to it – it goes up and down. It sounds almost like a diesel car idling in the distance and you want to go and ask somebody to switch the engine off – and you can’t”

You will need headphones or good speakers to be able to hear this

So what is this nocuous noise that has been plaguing the world for nigh on 40 years. As you can imagine theories are abundant. They range from the noises caused by UFOs to VLF submarine communications and even secrete government experiments created to send populous insane, well I cant comment on the sounds that a UFO might make neither have I any knowledge of secrete government experiments but I do know that VLF communications like those used by submariners would not be heard by the human ear. When the noise was first heard in Bristol the explanation put forward was  back ground city noise, that of traffic and factories e.c.t but as the noise is heard by only a small percentage of the population and it is often heard at a much louder volume in more rural areas, I feel this can be ruled out.

A more recent explanation that appeared in the press in 2015. Scientists from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique have put forward the idea the the hum is in fact caused by pressure waves on the ocean floor. Using computer models of the ocean winds and sea floor, lead scientist Fabrice Ardhuin found that when waves collide together they can generate a systemic wave that can last from 13 to 300 seconds and it is the longer waves which are capable of penetrating right down in the the earths core, that  create the sound that we know of as the hum.