Mysterious "Halifax Hum" driving villagers nuts for a year

Originally published at: Mysterious "Halifax Hum" driving villagers nuts for a year | Boing Boing


There is a similar hum that plagues our neighborhood from time to time. Nobody can figure it out. Water pressure (cavitation), underground power lines, generators, water pumps, sump pumps, gas lines all have been suspect but none have been singled out. Entire blocks have been affected. The low frequency hum penetrates ear plugs and will drive one quite insane. Thank goodness it goes away after a while. Anywhere from a week to three or four.


When we first moved into our house, we noticed the house vibrated a bit when there was a train passing several blocks north of us, but it was odd how strong and close it felt for being over a half a mile away. We got used to it though, so it wasn’t very noticeable after a few months.

A few years later I realized that the train tracks over half a mile away turn and go into a tunnel that runs under our neighborhood, directly under the next block over and it made a lot more sense.


Some hums do have a cause.


Halifax Hummer

Action movie thriller just waiting to be made.


Sorry, but that title sounds like a name for an act that I should not look up on urbandictionary.

(a thriller in a different sense I guess…)


My local subreddit has had people reporting a hum sound too, and it seems to come up every year. I live with bad tinnitus, so it’s hard to tell. Anyhow, I’ve also noticed outdoor odors that seem to blanket the whole city in kind of the same way.


Maybe Halifax Hummer is just Maine Lobster?


Perhaps the humming is fish swimming, mating, or farting?


Despite being a Detroiter, I had to learn about the Windsor Hum from the Guardian UK. The plant on the charming and charmingly named Zug Island was long suspected. US investigators wouldn’t do anything, despite the profusion of complaints from across the Detroit River.

Zug Island’s doings, in concert with a Downriver oil company, made Southwest Detroit stink to highest heaven and lowest hell.

I’m relieved to see us steel is finally being forced to face consequences, after decades of their heinous misbehavior. dow chemical also spent decades poisoning the Detroit River. When they were forced to shut down and clean up, the River almost immediately improved.

Whoever is responsible for the Halifax Hum damn well knows it, won’t fix it, and won’t fess up. Simply delightful. rantsml


i think it was on boingboing that i saw a thing about a guy pinpointing a random hard to find beep in his house by placing various microphones around and recording, then looking at the loudness in the waveforms to see which mic was closer and moving the further mics around till he got closer and closer - (he eventually found a dying smoke alarm in an attic space or something). couldn’t you do the same thing with this?


Pure hum, I’d guess. Assuming it’s coming from somewhere, if there’s any variation in it could you not use widely spaced microphones and precise timing to triangulate?


Just an extension of this old idea from the 70s:


There’s always the World Hum.

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I found that track strangely relaxing.

And did you see who was the only commenter there (in 2013)? Someone often seen in this parish…


How about that!


All fine, why doesn’t it sound like anything at all? Does one need more caring laptop speakers?
I suppose if I can only hear it inside {$town} I need to carry half a model building on a side and walk around with it until I can certify that it cranks more or less, then feed it all with map coordinates into Hadoop or something.

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