The human body is an incredible machine, able to turn all sorts of chaotic sensory data into the reality we see around us, just as a Taco Bell can turn the same four ingredients into 74 different menu items. It's so amazing that it's easy to lose track of the fact that we're still missing 99.99 percent of what's going on in the universe.
That's why under the right circumstances -- or with the right tweaks to your senses -- shit starts to get weird:
5You Can Hear Creepy Noises From Space (With The Right Gear)
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The first thing you need to understand about your senses is that they can't pick up shit. For instance, your ears need air to pick up sound, which is the only reason you can't hear outer space. But if you could, you'd find that the dying screams of a poor astronaut in the teeth of a hostile alien life form would be outright soothing in comparison. For instance, here's the bizarre, alien chorus being sung by the Earth's magnetic field into the uncaring void of space:
Wait sorry, that link is actually the newest single from Animal Collective.
In 2012, NASA launched a probe that captured those recordings of the audible-range radio waves emitted by plasma waves in the Earth's magnetosphere. It recorded five separate occurrences of the sound, which is called "Chorus." In fact, it's something you can fairly easily listen in on yourself -- all you need is insomnia, an amateur radio receiver, and a willingness to have the social life of a person who spends his time radio-spying the planet at 4:30 a.m.
But even Earth's freaky space song isn't nearly as creepy as the eerie tune blasting from the rings of Saturn:
And now you are all space pregnant.
Holy shit, that's not a planet, that's a Stanley Kubrick soundtrack. That eerie composition of heavily modified screaming voices with just the right amount of cheesy, 1950's sci-fi sound effects was recorded by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft. Cassini is a joint project between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency that started detecting Saturn's radio emissions back in 2002, when it was 234 million miles away from the planet. The noises are actually radio emissions called Saturn kilometric radiation, generated along with the planet's Northern and Southern auroras. Or, you could just say that the ringed planet is actively screaming its face off into the mindless abyss.
But you don't want to be listening to the song of a mere planet. You, sir/madam, are a go-getter, and set out to listen to the most prestigious sound of them all: the actual goddamned Big Bang. It turns out that 13.8 billion years after it did its thing, the Big Bang's echoes are still cascading across the universe, and in 1964, two dudes doing a completely unrelated experiment stumbled Nobel-worthily ass-backwards into it. Want to hear it yourself? Turn on a radio and find a station airing static. About 1 percent of that white noise is the sound of creation itself, which sounds a little like ...
...vyour grandpa's old CRT television stuck between channels. Hey, we never said the Beginning of Everything made a cool sound, did we?
4There Are Inaudible Sounds That Can Affect Your Mood
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As most every cat and dog you encounter will gleefully and constantly demonstrate, human hearing is bullshit even compared to other, far stupider animals. We were too busy elbowing our way through the line for opposable thumbs to even remember the whole "ears" thing, which is how we were stuck with hearing organs incapable of registering even things like infrasound -- low-frequency sounds that are just out of our audible range. Meanwhile, go-getters like whales happily skipped the entire arms line in favor of the ability to use goddamned infrasonic blasts to stun giant squids and eat them.
But just because you can't hear infrasound, don't think that it has forgotten about you. We've already discussed the way the tricks these low-frequency sounds play with our senses might be the real reason behind ghost sightings. But infrasound isn't content with occasionally tricking you to glimpse that creepy woman with the wide grin constantly hovering right behind you. It can -- and possibly does right now -- impact you in a multitude of ways by straight up messing with your emotions.
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Which explains why every EDM show ends in crying.
All sound boils down to vibrations, which can have some pretty weird effects on the human brain and body. Depending on which particular way it swings its dick at you, infrasound can induce different moods ranging from nausea and dizziness to lethargy and euphoria.
One of the simplest ways of experiencing the effects of the more pleasant infrasound effects is taking a drive in a closed-top car, at speeds over 62 mph. The vehicle begins to emit sound that will lull you into that peculiar road trip zone-out we've all experienced at one point or another.
"Honey, wake up. I think I spaced out somewhere near Cleveland."
And even weirder than that ...