If you’re looking for silence (and by silence, we mean real silence) you could take a hike through the nearest forest. Sure, you’ll find silence there. But according to researchers there actually is no place on Earth free from human sound. So, where to go best if you really need some peace and quiet?
According to acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton there is no place on Earth without any human sound ever. Also Antarctica or the North Pole are not quiet all the time, because even there you’ll hear planes cross over from time to time.
Hempton made the search for real quietness his life work. His mission is to find ‘the last great quiet places’ on the planet. Meaning: areas with at least 15 minute intervals free from human noise. You probably think you’ll find that deep in any forest or desert, but according to Hempton this isn’t so easy to find. Also deep in the Amazon rainforests, he recorded aircraft sounds: “Even if you are far from a road, you are not far from the roads in the sky,” he explained to BBC.
So that’s why he started this research project called: ‘One Square Inch of Silence’, possibly the quietest place in the United States. In Olympic National Park, deep in the Hoh Rainforest, you can find this pure, untouched, ecologically diverse and quiet environment. All you’ll hear around there is the sound of nature. Hempton is still researching more places in South America’s rainforests and northern Europe, but he is not very willing to share those with everyone. And therefore he is right, we think.
All good but still we’re looking for a quiet place to travel to, right? These beauties are on the list of the most silent places in the world.
Grasslands National Park, Canada
This park in Saskatchewan is one of the few still existing natural grasslands in North America. 907 km² of stretched out grass-land with animals grazing and playing. Nothing more. There is no other grasslands ecosystem is this quiet, according to Hempton.
Dhamma Giri, India
If you’re looking for silence you could visit a silent retreat in Asia. Dhamma Giri in India is one of the biggest. Vipassana meditation techniques are taught here and this means no talking, no interaction, nothing but meditation for 10 days. In this retreat they even have 400 separate meditation cells if you really, really want nothing around you.
Underwater caves, Yucatán
These caves are also known as cenotes. They can go very deep underground, and underground you’ll hear… well, almost nothing. Maybe some dripping water or your own breath. The Tak Be Ha cenote in Tulum is reported as one of the most silent. Oh, and besides the lack of sound, there also is no light in these caves of course. So make sure you bring a waterproof headlamp.
Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
One of the places Gordon Hempton is sharing, is the crater on top of the volcano on the island Maui. According to Hempton this is one of those ‘last quiet places’ he is researching. The volcano is 2000 meters high, and the crater is almost 800 meters deep. The view is beautiful, and the silence even more.
Anechoic Chamber, Minneapolis
And the winner of the world’s quietest place is… This room in Orfield Laboratories. It is build to be 99.99% sound absorbent and holds the Guinness World Record. Inside the room it is silent. Really silent. Even background noise is actually negative in decibels: -9.4 dB. This beauty of a room is so quiet that no-one has been able to stay in it for more than 45 minutes without going crazy. NASA sents astronauts there to help them to get used to the silence of space. This room is so quiet that you could get disorientated. Wow, we didn’t know that could happen.
Although this chamber is the most silent place on Earth, complete silence actually is very hard to find. Because as we explained before in one of our articles: the more quiet it gets, the louder the noises of the body itself appear. *Sigh*.
Want to check out an extensive guide of cool parks you can visit? Check out this article!