Can Silence Actually Drive You Crazy?

February 18, 2014 by 38 Comments

*Watch with headphones on!
Is 45 minutes really the longest anyone can stay in a perfectly silent, pitch-black room?
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Want to watch the whole hour of silence?

Many stories have circulated claiming the longest anyone has stayed in an ultra-quiet anechoic chamber is 45 minutes, the reason being any longer would drive you insane. To me this sounded like unsubstantiated rubbish, like the claim the Great Wall is the only manmade structure visible from space. So I put my own psyche on the line, subjecting myself to over an hour of the most intense quiet on Earth. No, this was not THE quietest room on Earth (-9dB) but it is one of the quietest, and the truth is once you put a person inside, they are by far the loudest thing in there so the sound rating of the room is irrelevant.

I was not surprised to find that I could stay in there for as long as I liked and feel perfectly fine. What was surprising is that my heartbeat was audible. You can hear it on the sound recording. Now I wasn’t consciously aware of the sound of my heart while in the room, but I was more aware of the feeling of it beating.

Huge thank you to everyone at BYU: Duane Merrell, Spencer Perry, Cameron Vongsawad, Jazz Myers, Ann Clawson, and Robert Willes.


38 Replies to “Can Silence Actually Drive You Crazy?”

  1. @3:07 : "A violinist was apparently banging on the door to get out". Banging on a foam covered door?

  2. Rohit Kundu says:

    It's a paradise for meditators

  3. Rohit Kundu says:

    I can stay here forever

  4. jake lencher says:

    this would be an insane music recording room.

  5. R4GED GAMER says:

    In simple
    Its a genjutsu

  6. Kashif Khan says:

    I would love to take a nap there. on plus side i would make a new world record and will have a nice sleep

  7. Kashif Khan says:

    the worse part would be in this room with one single cricket in one of those grooves .. that might turn into a torture room lol

  8. What it there was a tik-tok clock

  9. Koito rob says:

    I've not experienced an anechoic chamber, but back in the 1990s i did once have to install air conditioning into a room that had been sound proofed against all and any outside noise. The cooled air was being delivered down ducting from about 20m away so ensure there was no noise let into the room.
    It was used to train military personnel to help withstand sleep depravation when captured. I called it the 'torture chamber' which didn't go down too well with the people who worked there. The door had no handle on the inside so we had a weight on the floor to hold the door open while i was inside but 'somehow', my boss moved the thing and i ended up inside and it closed behind me. It had large windows, which were more than double glazed. So good were they at insulating the sound that despite me yelling obscenities at him and banging on the glass, he didn't hear me and left the outer room.
    This left me on my own for about ten minutes just sitting on the bed.
    I found after a short time it became loud in there. After watching this video i realise it was just me hearing my own bodily functions. Until now i thought it was my mind making up it's own noise to fill the silence.
    It didn't worry me being stuck inside. I was just pissed off with my boss for shutting the door and buggering off. Unlike HIM, I had work to do!
    I wonder if it's still being used?

  10. losa angelas says:

    Me having highest volume to hear those small sounds

  11. Good Vibes says:

    What if u make asmr in this room😂🤪🤪🤪😘

  12. SuNaru69 says:

    Just let a deaf man in here, he will atay here for like 3 hours.

  13. Cabbage Man says:

    what about people with tinitis?

  14. Demo licous says:

    He beat the world record at least

  15. You have to sit there in the dark and do nothing though? Maybe it’s just the darkness and not doing anything is what drives a people crazy lol.

  16. "So first you'll hear your clothes rustling, then the fluid in your mouth, then the blood in your brain"
    Me who hears all these things almost everyday: (°ー°〃)

  17. He leaves …:- …I went to sleep leaning on the damn foam wall 😴😴😴

  18. i guess intelligent people just like being in silent places to stay than in noisy places.

  19. Ese sonido de fondo .. es lo que precisamente escucho en mi habitación cuando hay demasiado silencio .. y la verdad me perturba ,porque ya siento que es un sonido en mi cabeza .. como si fuera una radio sin música

  20. PLATO Gaming says:

    Gimme a ps 4 in here , i can stay forever 😂😂

  21. rk رميز says:

    You should have gone there without camera and mic and sit there in silence.

  22. I can break the record by 45 minutes

  23. Just give me something to draw on and that would keep me busy and quiet for hours… mean I could probs stay there…. i think….. lol

  24. Tobblesmash says:

    I'm sorry did they leave him in and then not open when he said he's done? that's irresponsible

  25. Jerry Ben says:

    Introverts: Are you challenging me?

  26. An1R B says:

    imagine getting a touch sensation while in complete darkness with absolute silence.

  27. Eliott Head says:

    "The record is 45 minutes "

    Introverts: hold my beer

  28. Echo Gamezz says:

    Also I can’t hear a thing like I am deaf so I can’t hear one thing

  29. Drizzle Cake says:

    'Id say 8 minutes'
    16 minute
    Me: wow damn

  30. Best way to spend time in this room is by sleeping

  31. Avar Nyx says:

    i think it would trigger my autophobia

  32. I can spend a week there

  33. The loudest thing in world is the shampoo bottle hitting bathroom floor.

  34. Zhen Jiang says:

    Who also wanna try this ?

  35. capped baldy says:

    All i hear is eeee😂

  36. Srinikesh.D says:

    the heart beat feels like a t-rex walking

  37. with less senses the body can grow sensitive to your other senses, like feeling his heartbeat