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What is the quietest natural location on the surface of the planet? © Getty Images

What is the quietest natural location on the surface of the planet?

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Asked by: Paul Mellor, St Albans

There are many regions on the planet that are remote enough for you to escape all the noise of human civilisation. England’s most tranquil place, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), is a 500m-by-500m patch of bogland in Kielder Mires, Northumberland.


But tranquil is not the same as silent: even this ungrazed wilderness still has the sound of wind and the occasional bird. In fact, being able to hear birdsong was one of the factors that the CPRE included when calculating a place’s tranquillity score.

To escape wind and birdsong, too, you need somewhere barren and sheltered, such as the crater of a volcano. One good candidate is the Haleakalā crater on the Hawaiian island of Maui, which has been dubbed the “quietest place on Earth”. Here, the sound level is just 10 decibels – the same volume as your own breathing – and is probably as quiet as anything you can experience.

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Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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