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.
- Does sound travel further on foggy days?
- Why does the clinking sound go down in pitch when I stir sugar into my coffee?
- Why do we blink when we hear a loud noise?
- Is it possible to break the sound barrier quietly?