Our universe is full of secrets, and you don't have to go far to find them. Some of the most complex enigmas of our daily lives happen within the confines of our very own bodies, which is why the reason hair turns gray can be more interesting to us than, say, what makes black holes tick.
Luckily, scientists are also bothered by these little everyday secrets our bodies hold, and they have set out to find answers. As a result of their tireless work, we now know the answers to some age-old mysteries, such as ...
5Why Does Your Voice Always Sound Disappointing When Recorded?
It's happened to all of us at some point. We go through life secure in the knowledge that our voice sounds like distilled sex, until one day some absolute bastard pulls out a recorder and captures our smooth, honey-dripping Barry White sounds on tape. But man, are you in for a surprise: When played back, that sweet, sweet voice of yours sounds like something very different, and that something is pure, distilled ass.
"Check the file name again. This is clearly a recording of Gilbert Gottfried dubbed off of an antique gramophone."
The pitch is wrong. The tone is wrong. If you're a dude, your voice sounds way higher than you ever expected. If you're a lady, your lush soprano suddenly grows a beard and twists into a deep-pitched imitation of itself.
Now, your first instinct may be to burn down the electronics store so no one can ever hear that blasphemy again. However, we advise against it -- that shit is actually your real voice, while the thing you hear in your head whenever you speak is the autotuned version only you hear. We hear our own voices because sound waves travel up from the vocal cords and vibrate our ear drums. However, the vibrations don't stop there; they rattle through our skulls, echoing about and distorting the sound in a way that we alone perceive.
Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images
At least you can take some consolation in the fact that no one was listening to you in the first place.
But why do we invariably think our recorded voices suck monkey balls compared to what we hear when we speak? Like most things involving humans, it comes down to who we want to bone. Men prefer women with higher voices, and women prefer men with deeper voices. Deep pitches are attributed to bigger bodies, and we as a society have deemed big men to be the best mates. Higher pitches, on the other hand, give us the sense of small bodies, and again, humanity as a whole tends to feel women should be smaller than men. Therefore, when a guy talks, he hears his voice boom through his skull like a subwoofer in the back of a beat up Bonneville. Women's voices are high and feminine in their own ears, and all is well in the world.
When we hear it through a recording, we realize how far off our real voice is from the sexy ideal and can nervously feel our reproductive organs start to shrivel away with every word.
Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images
When in doubt, try replacing reduced pitch with added volume.
And while we're on the subject of technology ruining our self-image ...