Soundless Music Shown to Produce Weird Sensations
September 7, 2003 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Dr Richard Lord has shown in a controlled experiment that the extreme bass sound known as infrasound produces a range of bizarre effects in people including anxiety, extreme sorrow and chills -- supporting popular suggestions of a link between infrasound and strange sensations.
Here's the Reuters Story, He's done some other cool stuff as well at the National Physical Laboratory.
I can't help but think of The Brown Note, am I so imature?
posted by Blake (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't help but think of The Brown Note

The the first thing I thought of when I read the article was an old interview with Devo where Jerry Casale told the interviewer that the band wanted to hand out disposable diapers to the audience, then make them all crap their pants with subsonics.
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:32 PM on September 7, 2003

The Osmonds were capable of much worse.
posted by sharksandwich at 7:46 PM on September 7, 2003

Nazi's may* have used it, and apparently so did the 2002 Toyoto Highlander. I must admit that the thought of sonic weapons is rather intriguing.

* "The belief that the Nazis developed sonic technologies appears to be largely unsubstantiated, part of a modern reflex to attribute sinister research or technology to the Nazis on no more grounds than that it is ‘the kind-of-thing-Nazi-scientists-would-do’… along with flying UFOs into the Hollow Earth." - Fortean Times
posted by shoepal at 8:22 PM on September 7, 2003

I recall reading "Sixth Column" by Robert Heinlein, a passage in which describes a "subsonic" tone being used to produce fear and anxiety.

IIRC, that book was written in about 1949.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:23 PM on September 7, 2003

Immature is spelled with two m's.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:50 PM on September 7, 2003

Extreme bass sound? Victor Wooten, duh.
posted by Hildago at 9:23 PM on September 7, 2003

An audiologist I know mentioned cinema owners used to induce low infrasonic-esque sounds to trigger the urge to urinate in hopes that the patrons might buy confections on their return from the loo. Kind of like leaving salty snacks on the bar, perhaps.
posted by philfromhavelock at 9:38 PM on September 7, 2003

I can't help but think of Monty Python's Funniest Joke in the World sketch (or as I like to call it, The Ultimate Joke), so am I weird?

rhetorical question
rhetorical question
posted by wendell at 12:09 AM on September 8, 2003

You're no more immature, Blake, than a reader (such as me) who looks at the scientist's name & immediately thinks: Dr Richard Lord - Dr Dick Lord - Dr Dicklord...
posted by misteraitch at 2:23 AM on September 8, 2003

I wonder if this has anything to do with those few people who can hear earthquakes coming. Supposedly what they hear or somehow sense are the first force waves sent out seconds before the earth starts shaking. I always envied this ability because I live in earthquake country.
posted by halonine at 2:40 AM on September 8, 2003

First-hand experience: I saw this film, in Sensurround, in the theater when I was in high school. Every time the infrabass would kick in, I'd be squirming in the seat, literally. I realized right away what was going on, but I couldn't entirely stop my body from freaking a little.
posted by alumshubby at 5:21 AM on September 8, 2003

Maybe that's why elephants have always freaked the shit out of me.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:03 AM on September 8, 2003

More discussion around infrasound.

(Not meaning to say that this is a double post, but just thought it might be pertinent to this discussion.)
posted by Oops at 9:03 AM on September 8, 2003

[stifles comment about the flesh flute and the religious feelings I get when it's played...]
posted by five fresh fish at 9:23 PM on September 8, 2003

Would this be a related story?
from the WaPo, oh no!
posted by wendell at 12:28 AM on September 10, 2003

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