One of the more enduring modern mysteries remains the unexplained humming or buzzing noises heard in locations all around the world. These anomalous, usually low-frequency noises defy explanation and can sometimes go on for years. One of the more well-known hums, the Windsor Hum in Ontario, Canada, has been reported for nearly a decade. Other persistent hums can be found in Taos, New Mexico and Bristol, England.
Recently, additional mystery hums have popped up in some new locations. Residents of Rochester, New York have been plagued by an unexplained hum that is keeping many awake at night. Audio researchers now believe the Rochester Hum may be caused by two separate sources. Like in other instances of “The Hum,” industrial sources are suspected but cannot be definitively pinned down.
To make things worse for insomniacs, another hum has joined the global cacophony just this week. In the village of Barwell in Leicestershire, England, residents are struggling to sleep as a mysterious buzzing sound has surfaced. The sound has been described as a “low drone” similar to a vacuum cleaner or fan. Some residents say they’ve noticed it for a year now, but one resident told Leicestershire Live that the recent heat wave has made things worse due to forcing him to keep his windows open:
When it's quiet at night it can keep me up, shutting the windows helps but when it's hot, like it has been, it's a pain. When the ambient noise of traffic dies down the sound can be heard from early evening all through the night.
Local councils are doing what local councils do best - shrugging - leaving residents to fend for themselves. The Barwell Buzz seems to be elusive, sounding quite loud in some locations and then quiet just a few feet away.
The nearby town of Hinckley, Leicestershire is home to several major industrial plants, so of course they could have something to do with the buzz. However, industrial noise pollution has been ruled out in many other cases of mysterious noises, leaving explanations ranging from infrasound waves generated by deep-Earth seismic activity, mass hysteria, or even electromagnetic radiation from cell phone towers. Will we ever be able to pin down a definitive explanation for The Hum?