Sound is an omnipresent phenomenon in our lives, shaping our environment and influencing our well-being. While we often associate sound with audible frequencies, there is a realm of sound that lies beyond our range of perception - infrasound. Infrasound refers to low-frequency sound waves that are below the threshold of human hearing, typically below 20 Hz. Although we cannot consciously detect infrasound, it can have significant effects on our bodies, including ocular distortion and various other health implications. In this article, we will explore the lesser-known world of infrasound and delve into its negative effects on human health, supported by research findings from reputable sources.
One fascinating but alarming effect of infrasound on human health is ocular distortion. Studies have suggested that exposure to infrasound can induce vibrations within the eyeball, leading to visual disturbances such as blurred vision, distorted perception of shapes, and even the sensation of seeing ghostly apparitions. A 2014 study conducted by Møller and colleagues titled "Visual distortion provoked by infrasound" examined the visual disturbances experienced by individuals exposed to infrasound. The researchers concluded that infrasound stimulation affected the ocular fluid, causing small movements within the eyeball, leading to perceptual distortions.
Although we cannot consciously detect infrasound, it can have significant effects on our bodies, including ocular distortion and various other health implications.
Infrasound plays a significant role in the animal kingdom, where it is utilized as a potent weapon by certain species to hunt and capture prey. Many large predators, such as tigers and elephants, have evolved the ability to produce infrasonic calls that can travel over vast distances, allowing them to communicate and coordinate with their kin while remaining undetected by their prey. These low-frequency vocalizations serve as a strategic advantage, enabling these predators to launch surprise attacks and ensure a successful hunt. The ability of animals to employ infrasound in their predatory tactics highlights the diverse and remarkable adaptations found in the natural world.
Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the phenomenon of seeing ghostly apparitions, often associated with paranormal experiences, has been linked to ocular distortion caused by infrasound exposure. As mentioned earlier, infrasound can induce vibrations within the eyeball, leading to visual disturbances and perceptual distortions. Some individuals have reported seeing fleeting, shadowy figures or experiencing a sense of a presence in environments where infrasound is present.
Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the phenomenon of seeing ghostly apparitions, often associated with paranormal experiences, has been linked to ocular distortion caused by infrasound exposure.
Beyond ocular distortion, infrasound has been linked to a range of health effects, some of which are still being actively researched. Here are a few notable examples:
Sleep disturbances: Infrasound has the potential to disrupt sleep patterns, even at low intensities. A study published in the journal Noise & Health in 2015 investigated the impact of infrasound on sleep quality and found a correlation between exposure to infrasound and sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings, and reduced overall sleep quality.
Cognitive effects: Research has suggested that exposure to infrasound can impact cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and concentration. A study published in the Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration, and Active Control in 2018 explored the cognitive effects of infrasound exposure and reported a negative impact on attention and information processing tasks.
Psychological and physiological stress: Infrasound has been associated with feelings of unease, anxiety, and discomfort. A study published in the Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration, and Active Control in 2013 investigated the physiological and psychological effects of infrasound exposure and found increased stress hormone levels and self-reported stress symptoms in participants exposed to infrasound.
Vestibular disturbances: Some studies have suggested a link between infrasound exposure and disturbances in the vestibular system, which controls our sense of balance and spatial orientation. These disturbances can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, and a feeling of imbalance.
Infrasound, though inaudible to the human ear, is far from being innocuous. It possesses the ability to exert various negative effects on human health, including ocular distortion, sleep disturbances, cognitive impairment, psychological stress, and vestibular disturbances. While further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and long-term consequences of infrasound exposure, existing studies provide strong evidence for the potential harm it can inflict.
Detecting infrasound requires specialized equipment designed to capture and analyze low-frequency sound waves that fall below the threshold of human hearing. These devices, known as infrasound detectors or sensors, play a crucial role in monitoring and studying infrasound phenomena in various fields such as seismology, meteorology, and environmental research. There are different types of devices available for detecting infrasound, each tailored to specific applications and sensitivity requirements. Here are a few commonly used instruments:
Infrasound Microphones: These microphones are designed to capture sound waves within the infrasonic frequency range. They are highly sensitive and capable of detecting even the faintest infrasonic signals. Infrasound microphones typically utilize specialized diaphragms and low-frequency response circuits to accurately capture and amplify infrasound signals.
Infrasound Arrays: Infrasound arrays consist of multiple microphones or sensors strategically placed in an array formation. By analyzing the time differences of arrival and amplitudes of infrasound signals across the array, researchers can pinpoint the direction, source, and characteristics of the infrasound waves. This technique is particularly useful for detecting and locating infrasound generated by natural phenomena like volcanic eruptions or nuclear explosions.
Barometers: Infrasound waves can also be detected indirectly through the measurement of air pressure changes. Barometers, specifically designed for infrasound monitoring, can record the subtle pressure variations caused by infrasonic disturbances. These instruments typically employ highly sensitive pressure sensors capable of capturing infrasound waves as fluctuations in atmospheric pressure.
Infrasound Data Loggers: Infrasound data loggers are portable devices that are deployed in various locations for long-term monitoring. These loggers are equipped with sensitive microphones or pressure sensors and are designed to continuously record infrasound data over extended periods. They often have built-in storage capabilities and power management systems, allowing them to operate autonomously in remote or challenging environments.
It's worth noting that infrasound detection and analysis require expertise and sophisticated signal processing techniques to distinguish true infrasonic signals from environmental noise. The collected data is typically processed using specialized software and analyzed to extract valuable insights about infrasound sources, propagation patterns, and associated phenomena.
With the advancement of technology, the availability and accessibility of infrasound detection devices have increased, enabling scientists, researchers, and organizations to explore the hidden world of infrasound and its diverse applications across various fields.