In Pics: A look at some of the loudest sounds ever recorded The loudest sounds ever recorded are remarkable examples of the immense power and energy that exists in our world. From volcanic eruptions to rocket launches, these sounds can be heard from great distances and have the potential to cause significant damage.
March 23, 2023 / 07:30 PM IST
Crowd at American Airlines Center: In 2011, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had the team’s home stadium equipped with a new acoustics system that included microphones in the backboards and 60 large speakers to amplify the sounds of players and the crowd. During a playoff game, the system created a deafening noise that reached 115 decibels, which is the threshold for human pain.
Lesser bulldog bats: Found in Central and South America, these bats produce ultrasonic calls that are beyond the limits of human perception, which would be painful for us to hear. The high-pitched calls allow the bats to extend their hunting range by using echolocation to locate small and swift insects.
Howler monkeys: They have large hyoid bones in their vocal tract that amplify their voice to superlative heights, making them the loudest of any land animal. When they howl, the noise can be heard from 3 miles away.
Gunfire: Exposure to sounds over 120 decibels can harm hair cells in the inner ear responsible for hearing. Guns produce a sound of at least 140 decibels when fires.
Saturn V rocket: The Saturn V rocket was developed for the Apollo programme and is the most powerful rocket to fly successfully. It has launched 13 times, carrying over 2,60,000 pounds of payload into orbit each time.
Chelyabinsk meteor: You can watch the Chelyabinsk meteor explosion on YouTube. The explosion, which was caught on tape by Russian dashboard cameras, had a force equivalent to 500 kilotons of TNT, causing damage and injuring over 1,000 people in the city.
Tunguska meteor: One June morning in 1908, a Siberian man was knocked out of his seat on the front porch by a shock wave. The cause was the Tunguska meteorite which had exploded mid-air 40 miles away.
Krakatoa: In 1893, the eruption of Krakatoa resulted in the destruction of over half of the island’s landmass, causing 100-foot-tall tsunamis. People within 10 miles around the site went deaf.