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Can you handle total silence?

Categories: World

anachoic-chamber-pic-584.jpgThe walls and floor of the Anechoic Chamber in Minneapolis absorb more than 99 per cent of all sound generated within. (Steven Orfield/Orfield Labs)

Are you the kind of person who blasts music while studying? Do you go stir-crazy when things around you get too quiet?

If so, then the Anechoic Chamber in Minneapolis, Minn. might not be for you.

The chamber at Orfield Labs boasts the Guinness World Record for the quietest room in the world. Its walls and floor are made of fiberglass wedges and insulated material that absorbs more than 99 per cent of sound generated within, including your footsteps.

According to the Deccan Chronicle, the room clocks in at -9 decibels. On a typical night, you sleep in a room that measures 30 decibels. A conversation using your inside voice measures at 60 decibels.

The room is primarily used by companies to configure the sounds their products make, including the grumble of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or the hum of a Maytag washing machine, the company's founder Steven Orfield told the Daily Mail.

But it's also pretty good at driving a human being to the brink of insanity in under an hour.

After absorbing the sounds you make intentionally, says Orfield, your ears adapt to the silence and eventually you hear nothing but the involuntary sounds your squishy fluid-filled body makes.

It becomes so disorienting that visitors need to sit down to maintain their balance.

"When it's quiet, ears will adapt. The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You'll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly...In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound."

Orfield says he challenges reporters to sit in the room in the dark for as long as they can. One reporter lasted a whole 45 minutes before asking to leave.

Can you handle silence, even in regular situations such as being home alone or at a library? Would you ever challenge the 45-minute record set inside the Anechoic Chamber?

Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.

Tags: POV, Science & Technology

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