TIL If sound could travel through empty space, we’d be able to hear the sun at 125 decibels from Earth’s surface. In comparison, 120 decibels is a train horn about one meter away from you.

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There was an interesting philosophical problem faced by the ancients: why can’t we hear the heavenly bodies (stars, planets, etc.) as they travel through the sky? True, they are very far away, but they must be very large and moving very quickly. Why can no one hear the Music of the Spheres? There were a lot of different theories but the most favored was Aristotle’s idea that we can hear it as babies but over the years we grow accustomed to the sound and our brain just tunes it out. And since we don’t retain any memories from our infancy everyone has just forgotten what it sounds like.


There was a thread a while back that questioned people who were deaf that could now hear because of implants. The question was what sounds surprised them..now that they could hear? A pretty frequent answer was surprise that the sun didn’t make noise.


If there were such sound, we would have not evolved hearing, or we would have evolved hearing that could not hear those frequencies. It’s often interesting to think about, like dog whistles, that there are things that some animals can hear, and we have no idea it’s even making a noise.


i read a reddit comment about a guy who’s father or grandfather (i think) got a hearing aid after being deaf most of his life, and decided he didn’t want it because everything was too loud. later, the guy convinced his father or grandfather or whatever to try it again and he was surprised that hearing was so pleasant. turns out wearing his hearing aid for the first time was next to traffic and he thought that was the sound of the sun


Even more astounding if you’re familiar with the decibel scale…it’s logarithmic, meaning intensity is reduced non-linearly with distance. Man that thing is loud.