I saw the following headline on Gizmodo earlier this week:
and my first thought was the following clip from Dumb and Dumber:
Surprisingly, that sound did not make it into the article.
Gizmodo reached out to a number of sound-experts to find out what the most annoying sound might be.
One of the answers at first surprised me, but after I thought about it, I had to agree that it is the most annoying sound.
But before I reveal that sound, let me share what a couple other sound experts offered:
- chalkboard scraping. that is one that came to my mind, and just thinking of it sometimes sends shivers up my spine.
- sounds that get in the way of whatever you’re trying to do. For example, you might be trying to work from home, and your neighbor is outside using his drill. What makes such sounds even more annoying is one’s lack of control over such sounds.
And now for the big reveal.
Dr. Tjeerd Andringa, Associate professor of Auditory Cognition at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, claims that the most annoying sound to humans is the sound of vomiting because it elicits a visceral response.
That’s not one I would have thought of, and I’m not sure if I would classify it as annoying or disgusting, but it certainly is just about the most unpleasant sound I can think of, perhaps because it triggers almost the same reaction in the person hearing it.
So I think the next time I want to annoy someone, I’ll just play a clip of someone throwing up.
But I’ll be sure to have earplugs in, and to be several feet away…