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The Quietest Place On Earth Will Cause You To Hallucinate In 45 Minutes

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the did-you-hear-that? dept.

Technology 332

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Industry Tap reports that there is a place so quiet you can hear your heart beat, your lungs breathe and your stomach digest. It's the anechoic chamber at Orfield Labs in Minnesota where 3ft of sound-proofing fiberglass wedges and insulated steel and concrete absorbs 99.99% of sound, making it the quietest place in the world. 'When it's quiet, ears will adapt,' says the company's founder and president, Steven Orfield. 'The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You'll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly. In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.' The chamber is used by a multitude of manufacturers, to test how loud their products are and the space normally rents for $300 to $400 an hour. 'It's used for formal product testing, for research into the sound of different things — heart valves, the sound of the display of a cellphone, the sound of a switch on a car dashboard.' But the strangest thing about the chamber is that sensory deprivation makes the room extremely disorienting, and people can rarely stay in the dark space for long. As the minutes tick by in absolute quiet, the human mind begins to lose its grip, causing test subjects to experience visual and aural hallucinations. 'We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark — one reporter stayed in there for 45 minutes,' says Orfield who says even he can't stand the quiet for more than about 30 minutes. Nasa uses a similar chamber to test its astronauts putting them in a water-filled tank inside the room to see 'how long it takes before hallucinations take place and whether they could work through it.'"

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Nein (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572995)

Cool, a real geodesic psychoisolation chamber

BULL CRAP! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45572997)

Yes. And people who are deaf are all out of their minds? Wow. What crap!

Re:BULL CRAP! (5, Funny)

WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) | about a year ago | (#45573015)

And people who are deaf are all out of their minds?

No wonder deaf people are always flailing their arms at each other. It all makes perfect sense now!


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573071)

Deaf people get used to it. It's like detoxing from a heavvy drug addiction, at first its painfull, but hold out long enough and you'll be fine. I'd love to experience it.

Re:BULL CRAP! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573117)

You'd love to experience deafness? That can be arranged.

Wait a second! (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45573201)

Are you sure that deaf people don't hear ANYTHING? Or, maybe they simply can't hear the same way you or I do?

I know for a fact that deaf people can sense vibrations, and sound is nothing more than vibration. Your ear is specially designed to make sense of a particular type of vibrations.

What about bone induction?

I googled "hearing without ears" and got a boatload of hits. Some look pretty interesting, some look less interesting. Try it yourself.

Re:Wait a second! (5, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45573317)

Right. There is a difference between no skund and not being able to hear it. Also this chamber locks out about all other external stimulus except for gravity.i would think that might be a bit different then just being deaf

Re:BULL CRAP! (-1, Flamebait)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#45573291)

On behalf of people with hearing loss - no, you really wouldn't love it. However, it would seem you already love being a huge dick.

Re:BULL CRAP! (-1, Offtopic)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | about a year ago | (#45573313)

I don't think I would love being a huge dick, but I *love* having a huge dick.

Re:BULL CRAP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573363)

How often do you get it, and do you like to suck, or take it in the rear.

Vacuum (4, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#45573139)

Given all the vacuum chambers on earth I also doubt it is the quietest place on earth. The quietest with air perhaps but not necessarily quietest overall.

Re:Vacuum (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45573175)

i just gave it doubt because 3ft of insulation isn't all that much really.

one of the quiet places sure...

Re:Vacuum (0)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#45573213)

I see that you have no idea how an anechoic chamber works.

Re:Vacuum (4, Interesting)

GuB-42 (2483988) | about a year ago | (#45573359)

Interesting point. But can we really call a place where sound doesn't exist "quiet". In the same way we can't call vacuum "cold" because there is no temperature.
The air in an anechoic chamber actually makes things stop vibrating whereas vacuum merely prevents the sound from propagating.

Re:Vacuum (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573401)

There's no temperature in a vacuum? I predict a Nobel Prize for you!

Re:Vacuum (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45573449)

If a tree falls in a vacuum chamber in the woods, the sound is carried by the container to the surrounding air...

Re:Vacuum (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#45573493)

If a tree falls in a vacuum chamber in the woods, the sound is carried by the container to the surrounding air...

... whether or not there is anyone there to asphyxiate while trying to hear it.

Re:BULL CRAP! (4, Insightful)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year ago | (#45573225)

Not what it says. It says when it gets THAT quiet, and you start hearing your own bodily functions, like (i.e., heart beating, lungs processing air, blood rushing through veins) that it tends to mess with your head. Deaf people, by virtue of being deaf, hear none of those things.


VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45573469)

Not what it says. It says when it gets THAT quiet, and you start hearing your own bodily functions,

Correct. And THOSE sounds are what cause people to hallucinate. The this is an evolutionary defensive mechanism: Fixating on the subconscious thoughts that only those like me with Sleep Paralysis normally see while awake prevents humans from realizing that some truly heinous shit is brewing deep inside of everyone.

Re:BULL CRAP! (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#45573495)

I don't have to go to a special chamber to hear MY bodily functions.

Re:BULL CRAP! (5, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#45573417)

What you're failing to see is that if you spend decades adapting to a world of sounds, having that yanked away will fuck you up. Most deafness is either congenital or progressive, so it's either all you know or something you adapted to. If you look at cases of people who are suddenly deaf, you'll find similar problems adapting.

By the same token, people who were deaf who through new surgical methods are made to be able to hear, actually have a very hard time adapting to it. We who can hear take for granted the period in infancy when we develop the mental capacity to reflexively filter out background noises and such. People who were deaf lack the automatic mental controls, and in a sense, can't stop hearing, which makes it hard for them to focus on specific sounds (and hard to sleep). It's so bad that some even have the surgery reversed and voluntarily go back to being deaf because to them it's better than a sense of hearing that they can't control.

That's nothing (2)

codeButcher (223668) | about a year ago | (#45572999)

Some people [pointedly looking at neighbors] need external sounds to mask the quiet in their heads. The quieter the head, the louder the noi^Wmusic.

Re:That's nothing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573017)

In my defence, I need the music to drown out the voices in my head.

Re:That's nothing (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#45573361)

They're the ones that told you to turn the music on. They just want it so you can't hear them talking behind your head.

45 minutes? (2)

redmid17 (1217076) | about a year ago | (#45573001)

Hmmm give me some booze and a bucket. I bet I can beat that

Re:45 minutes? (4, Funny)

bob_super (3391281) | about a year ago | (#45573125)

In there, no-one can hear you barf

Re:45 minutes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573497)

Weirdly, there is an article about barf inducing noise free lab from today: []
Today is the day everybody encloses into the nearest silent room and tries to cope with the hallucinations or excessive vomiting, as is tradition.

Sensory deprivation tanks (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573005)

I've spent over an hour in a sensory deprivation tank and it wasn't nearly as trippy as this makes is sound.... Maybe longer would do it.

Re:Sensory deprivation tanks (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45573131)

Me too. It was no big deal.

Re:Sensory deprivation tanks (2, Funny)

erikkemperman (252014) | about a year ago | (#45573261)

I remember reading abobut this in Feynman's autobiography. IIRC he wanted to experience some halucinations without subjecting his brain to any chemicals. I've always wanted to try it, but have never had access to a sensory deprivation tank. Fortunately there were plenty of chemicals.

Re:Sensory deprivation tanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573393)

He did subject his brain to ketamine though, and, AFAIK, in the flotation tank.

Re:Sensory deprivation tanks (1)

swb (14022) | about a year ago | (#45573407)

There's probably some substantive difference in hallucinations induced by drug stimuli versus those induced by removal of stimuli.

And a sensory deprivation tank itself is probably different than an anechoic chamber, since the tank is designed to remove all stimuli. The tanks are supposed to be dark and immerse you in water so you minimize all stimuli, where the anechoic chamber is quiet, but you still have physical stimuli since you're not in the dark, etc.

Drug induced hallucinations are probably more similar to the kinds of hallucinations schizophrenics have, since these hallucinations tend to be interactive with the stimuli around you. LSD hallucination seems to be changes in the things around you (ie, walls undulate, patterns move) more so than seeing things that aren't there.

Re:Sensory deprivation tanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573427)

Enjoy your free hallucinations, without having to use any drug.

Chamber (5, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | about a year ago | (#45573007)

I've been in an anechoic chamber - it is quite strange, when you talk it feels like your voice is being sucked out of you.

Re:Chamber (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45573099)

Hush [] !

Re:Chamber (3, Insightful)

complete loony (663508) | about a year ago | (#45573103)

I've only managed to stick my head into a much smaller quiet space for a few seconds. The silence hits you like the chiming of Old Tom at Unseen University.

Or so I've heard...

Re:Chamber (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#45573231)

Beat that with the this [] chorus (transcranial hearing).

Re:Chamber (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573365)

I've spent some time in a half-decent recording studio, which has the same intent - to eliminate acoustic reverberation.

It's not the silence, but the lack of reverberation that messes with your mind and I think your description of your voice being sucked out is quite apt. Whenever you speak you expect a bit of your voice to echo back, as imperceptible as it may seem sometimes.

If you're in silence long enough you do start to hear things you wouldn't otherwise hear, but it's just part of the human hearing response. If we're around loud sounds all the time our perception adjusts so that we only hear things above a higher threshold, which is one of the traits of our hearing that MP3-style compression exploits. Our visual system works in much the same way - spend a while outdoors at night and eventually your vision adjusts so that you can see a lot of detail in the darkness.

We have a large dynamic range, but only a narrow bandpass filter in-between our sensors and processor.

meditation chamber (2)

dltaylor (7510) | about a year ago | (#45573027)

Not having reached the point that I can ignore all external stimuli, that sounds like a place I could work on inner stillness, at least. Too bad it's so far from where I live; I'd like to try a few individual hours.

Re:meditation chamber (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about a year ago | (#45573135)

Not having reach the point where I can silence all external stimuli, that sounds like a place where I could think in peace. Too bad I'd get nagged to take the kids in there with me.

So, build your own (5, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45573219)

Dig a hole about forty or fifty feet deep. Make a monolithic pour of waterproofed concrete. Install the insulation and the anechoic surfaces. You'll want at least a couple soundproof hatches in the access tunnel, maybe three or four, to eliminate noise from the wind or whatever.

With your own chamber in your back yard, you can deprive yourself anytime. When you tire of that, you can use it to hide your armory, or your gold, or dead bodies. Whatever needs to be hidden, you've got the place to hide it. Plan for the future though - a guy never knows just how many people he might meet who desperately need to be bludgeoned to death!

Re:So, build your own (5, Insightful)

WizardFusion (989563) | about a year ago | (#45573315)

+1 Strangely informative and disturbing at the same time

Re:So, build your own (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year ago | (#45573351)

So long as you're digging, make a few chambers at the bottom.

You might want one for, uhh, disposal, one for storage, and maybe a survival shelter, in addition to the anechoic chamber.

They don't all need to be furnished at once, but I imagine it will be less expensive to have the deep hole excavated once, rather than bringing back the heavy equipment when you want to expand the underground lair.

Crazy (0)

HalAtWork (926717) | about a year ago | (#45573029)

I wear earplugs in the dark every night and I usually wake up perfectly sane.

Re:Crazy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573055)

Earplugs still don't drown out all noise.

Re:Crazy (2)

gigaherz (2653757) | about a year ago | (#45573081)

You can still hear, though. Sound waves can travel through your nose and mouth, and through your bones. In that room there's no sound, at all. Anything you hear will come from inside your own body.

I wouldn't last more than a minute there, though. I become anxious within a few minutes of wearing earplugs, and I need them to swim underwater.

Re:Crazy (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#45573237)

In that room there's no sound, at all...

So? Make some, its not like that they filled that chamber with a gas that you can breathe but it's soundproof.

Re:Crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573307)

I usually wake up perfectly sane.

Translation: Sometimes you wake up completely batshit insane, but usually the voices convince you that you're perfectly sane.

Bullshit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573033)

I realise that all capitalism is about "selling an experience" rather than telling the truth - because the truth is rarely the most proitable option, as Microsoft, Apple, Google, the RIAA/MPAA, Tesla, and every politician to the right of Nader know - but this sounds more like a "Stan's used cars" sales pitch. "PRICES SO LOW YOU'LL GO CRAAAAYZZZYYY."

Yes, there are probably some minds which have become so addicted to bombardment with sights and sounds that they'll not cope with 5 minutes without something external to stimulate them, let alone 30. There are yet others for whom this would just be a pleasant rest.

It's not hallucinating (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#45573039)

it's looking into the future

Re:It's not hallucinating (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573163)

On the eve of her upcoming trip to China, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will appear at the Center for American Progress to discuss the importance of US-China cooperation on the environment and climate pollution. Administrator McCarthy will also highlight recent progress on the President’s Climate Action Plan and steps the United States is taking to reduce carbon pollution and drive sustainable U.S. economic growth.

A short press availability will follow the event.

WHO: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
                          Carol Browner, CAP Distinguished Fellow and former EPA Administrator
                          Neera Tanden, CAP President and CEO

WHAT: Discussion on US-China Clean Air and Climate Cooperation

WHEN: Monday, December 2nd, 10:30 am EST

WHERE: Center for American Progress
                            1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
                            Washington, D.C. 20005

Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573047)

The only thing I'm gonna hear are my ears ringing... thanks Lemmy, Ivy, Keith and that D.J. from that horrible wedding.

Lame (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573051)

and hyped lame at that. The effect of sensory deprivation chambers is well known. This is not a sensory deprivation chamber. The act of feeling gravity press on various parts of the body will break the detachment of mind from the constant orientating signals from the body. In other words I don't believe this crap. Deaf people somehow don't constantly hallucinate even in total darkness. Sensory deprivation chambers were refined so that the currents in the fluid that supported the body were diffuse as the presence of just the little bit of feedback such a wee current pressing against the body will break the detachment of mind from body and keep hallucination from happening. There were other little things that had to be addressed in order for the deprivation to work. Just a quiet and dark room is not enough and what is required was well documented. This is a lame add wrapped in a hyped unlikely assertion.

Not entirely lame (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45573223)

It isn't being advertised as a "sensory deprivation chamber". It's being advertised as a sound testing chamber. You are deprived of one sense, and one sense alone, in this chamber.


Re:Not entirely lame (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a year ago | (#45573249)

Well, two - there's also sight, as TFS mentions sitting there in the dark.

Not if you have tinnitus? (3, Insightful)

gr8dude (832945) | about a year ago | (#45573057)

With this condition you will always be exposed to some other forms of sound - would this prevent the hallucinations?

After all, your senses are not fully deprived of input.

Re:Not if you have tinnitus? (3, Interesting)

gigaherz (2653757) | about a year ago | (#45573083)

I'd guess it would make it worse. You'd still be deprived of external input, so you'd be hearing the tinnitus almost exclusively.

Yep (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#45573309)

Tinnitus is no fun in low noise environments as your ears seem to be awash in it. It seems really loud and overbearing, since it is all you hear. That kind of thing happens when you get your hearing tested and you have it (as I do). When they start doing threshold of hearing tests and the sounds they make are really quiet, the tinnitus seems massive and overpowering. Then you take off the headphones and leave the booth and it vanishes.

Re:Not if you have tinnitus? (5, Interesting)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year ago | (#45573115)

With this condition you will always be exposed to some other forms of sound - would this prevent the hallucinations?

I have mild tinnitus. In normal environments I'm not aware of it, but when the room is quiet I notice it. In this chamber it'd probably drive me crazy, hallucinations or no.
FWIW, mine started after a severe cold and has never diminished in the seven years since.

Re:Not if you have tinnitus? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573483)

I have tinnitus also (had it since before i knew it was my ears and not some machine, perhaps since i was born), mostly i don't notice it, unless i'm in a quiet place or i remember that i have it. 99,9% of the time it does not bother me even when it's very quiet, but sometimes it pisses me off.
I use earplugs every night, because other noises disturb me when i'm trying to sleep, but tinnitus does not. Now i'm not sure i want to get rid of it, since it masks out some of the other noises or maybe not mask but fills the hearing with something other than the disturbing little altering noises. Hard to say, if was in that kind of room how it'd effect me, since it doesn't bother me that much.

Minor correction re: NASA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573063)

According to the linked article, NASA doesn't use "a similar chamber", they use *THAT* chamber...

It's also NASA, not Nasa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573421)

It's not "Nasa", it's *NASA*... Seriously, editors? When do you ever see it written Nasa? It took me a moment to realize they meant NASA.

Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573067)

We obviously need to torture ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H interrogate Muslims ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Prisoners from the War on Terror with this. It could prove to be most beneficial.

Re: Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573119)

According to 24h TV series that is already done. Militaries/feds are quite creative when it comes to torture people/win.

Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573085)

I have got to try this shit before it's made illegal.

Enjoy the silence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573095)

Enjoy the silence []

Where can I get in one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573105)

It'd be fun to try, but I'm not going to travel all the way to the US for that.

And certainly not paying $400 for the pleasure.

Re:Where can I get in one? (5, Funny)

chromas (1085949) | about a year ago | (#45573149)

It's $300-$400 per hour—the real reason nobody can stand to be in for so long. You have to get out early before they charge you for the next hour.

Re:Where can I get in one? (3, Funny)

bluegutang (2814641) | about a year ago | (#45573321)

That's what she said...

The perfect spot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573109)

Finally I can hear the voices more clearly.

The CIA (1)

quantaman (517394) | about a year ago | (#45573111)

I think they just found a new enhanced interrogation technique.

Re:The CIA (1)

ketomax (2859503) | about a year ago | (#45573129)

The Winchesters have been using this technique on Crowley for some time now.

Re:The CIA (4, Informative)

Shimbo (100005) | about a year ago | (#45573137)

I think they just found a new enhanced interrogation technique.

A new one, hardly. They've been using it for 50 years. []

Re:The CIA (4, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | about a year ago | (#45573185)

Sadly not surprising. Hell, I believe even solitary confinement should be tossed out as a form of psychological torture.

Good ol' Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573145)

This is neither new, news, nor stuff that matters.

Simulating the quitest place on earth? (1)

dennison_uy (313760) | about a year ago | (#45573151)

Is there a way to simulate this without spending $400? Serious question.

Re:Simulating the quitest place on earth? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45573195)

Any decent recording studio will be pretty close to this.

Re:Simulating the quitest place on earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573265)


Re:Simulating the quitest place on earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573283)

Any decent recording studio will be pretty close to this.

No, not even close - from the comments, most of the denizens of this site have no idea what they are talking about.

Re:Simulating the quitest place on earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573415)

Par for the course.

Re:Simulating the quitest place on earth? (4, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#45573259)

It's not exact, but I did run across an unusual and unlikely method of simulating the sensation. In high school I was helping make props for a play. We were coating party balloons in paper mache. After it had dried a bit, we popped the balloon and removed it. As a joke, one of us held the hole up to our ear, half expecting to "hear the ocean" like you do from a seashell. The result instead was silence and a feeling of low pressure, as if your eardrum were being sucked out. It wasn't just me either - everyone who tried it reported the same sensation.

Years later when I went into an anechoic chamber for a hearing test, I recognized the same feeling. It isn't "silence" like when you're in a quiet room. The minute echos tell you you're still in a room. It's more like an open emptiness, with a similar feeling of low pressure against my ears. Close your eyes and you can't tell you're in a room.

I think the low pressure sensation is psychosomatic. When you ride a plane, the pressure change mutes the sounds you can hear as well as puts pressure on your eardrum. The quiet of the anechoic chamber or the paper mache balloon is very much like the muting of sound you get from a pressure change. And I think the brain automatically concludes you must be experiencing a pressure change, and makes up the sensation of low pressure.

Re:Simulating the quitest place on earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573519)

Dude, it's called papier-mache. You can even skip the accents (it's papier-mâché in French), but only very uneducated people insist on calling it "paper mache".

Security Events - Direct Downloads - video+audio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573205) []

Index of /events/

Icon Name Last modified Size Description Parent ectory
  BoostCon/ 09May2012 19:13
  CCC/ 04Jan2013 01:33
  CONFidence/ 12May2012 02:49
  defcon/ 12May2012 06:11
  derbycon/ 12May2012 06:13
  Documentaries/ 12May2012 02:51
  echtehackers/ 12May2012 06:18
  emfcamp/ 07Sep2012 00:08
  eth0/ 12May2012 06:20
  FIRST/ 12May2012 02:52
  FOSDEM/ 12May2012 03:42
  FroSCon/ 12May2012 04:25
  GoingNative/ 12May2012 04:33
  HAL/ 12May2012 04:42
  HAR/ 12May2012 05:01
  HitB/ 12May2012 05:12
  hitr2ndb/ 19Sep2012 13:01
  hollandopen/ 12May2012 06:25
  HOPE/ 12May2012 05:01
  OHM/ 23Sep2013 00:30
  overig/ 12May2012 06:26
  phneutral/ 12May2012 06:52
  rehash/ 12May2012 06:56
  rpi/ 12May2012 06:56
  securitytube/ 12May2012 06:58
  shmoocon/ 17Mar2013 23:35
  WTH/ 12May2012 05:41

Scary (1)

Austa (3451127) | about a year ago | (#45573207)

I wouldn't want to be there.

yogi (4, Interesting)

danhaas (891773) | about a year ago | (#45573233)

It would be interesting to see the reaction of a competent yogi in there. They study exactly that: excluding sensory input and generating alternate mind states.

i would pay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573239)

to stick Bradley Manning in there for two days

how soon the world has forgotten John C. Lilly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573251)

sad really, that this article doesn't even mention the inventor of the sensory isolation tank, the mad genius Dr. John C. Lilly

it was only the 70's, people, it wasn't that long ago!

I can confirm this (4, Interesting)

Bowdie (11884) | about a year ago | (#45573285)

I had a go in the UK Plantronics anechoic chamber last year on a factory visit. They have a webcam, and an egg timer on the wall. It's not odd for people to weird out if they spend any time in the chamber. The (digital) egg timer was there so you could set it for 30 minutes and it would hopefully snap you out of any spin you got yourself into.

I was in there for no more than five minutes, and it was extremely disorientating. You really can hear the blood in your ears. It's very much like the sound you get from sea shells. I can easily imagine losing my shit in short order in there.

Re:I can confirm this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573329)

You're just the sort of person who can be easily stage-hypnotised.

You elect to perform.

That's all this is.

Re:I can confirm this (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#45573473)

I can easily imagine losing my shit in short order in there.

I really don't want to know what that sounds like.

Cheaper Alternative (0)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about a year ago | (#45573341)

Ear plugs = 10p

Lifes so simple when you think outside the box....

Re:Cheaper Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573431)

Another idiot.

But have you... (2)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45573381)

...ever gone into the anechoic chamber, on weeeed?

MOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573399)

So to transcribe today's MOTD:
In an anechoic chamber, no one can hear you fart.

mmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573413)

Sounds like a nice place for some arylcyclohexamines and nitrous.

Sensory Deprivation Tanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573423)

This really reminds me of the documentary Vice ran on sensory deprivation ( Some of the effects the people who use them claim to feel (even when not on other drugs) are quite interesting and I assume are a result of a similar mental response as described in TFA. Just a warning, the narrator is a bit of an acquired taste and a lot of people, judging from the comments on some of his documentaries, can't stand him (though I personally love his delivery). I wonder if this type of phenomenon will ever really kick off as a serious recreational escape.

Try a sensory deprivation tank (5, Interesting)

upuv (1201447) | about a year ago | (#45573439)

Back in the 90's I spent some extended time in a sensor deprivation chamber.

Nothing as fancy as this place. Not even remotely close. Just a salt water tank and a really really dark and quite environment.

I can tell you I was Hallucinating in far less than 45 minutes when I was in a sensory deprivation tank. Auditory hallucination was the first. Then physical sensory. Then finally visual. I can't comment on temperature. I had no memory of anything to do with temperature. Pain was there, but I am a bit confused if it was a memory of a memory or if I actually felt in while in the tank.

I was in their for about a week. It was suppose to be longer. But I got pulled out when people got worried. Apparently I was not exhibiting an EEG with in expected norms. What ever that means. I used to know more about the results. But that was 20 years ago.

The hallucinations got so intense that I believed them. This only took a relatively short time. No way of telling how short really. Nothing really weird, or dangerous. I substituted what I believed to be a real world environment. Yes responses from others were to easy and terse. Which was odd. The most unusual thing was travel. Traveling distances took little time at all. Rather I don't remember details of travel. Things that you would normally remember. There is always something about a journey you remember. In the tank I didn't have those memories. I always felt rather dis-connected after travel in my hallucinations.

I was completely freaked out when they started to revive me. They started with light and then some sound in the tank. Apparently I resisted it. I forced my eyes shut and made funny faces when the light and sound started. It really was hard to accept my environment. It felt like it all went down in a few minutes. But apparently the process was over an hour.

What you do for a little Uni cash.

PS. Yes they hooked up tubes to my bits. That was more disturbing coming out than in. I'll never forget that.

Siberia (2)

Justpin (2974855) | about a year ago | (#45573451)

A while ago 5 years now.. (how time flies) I ended up travelling across Eurasia on a motorbike. Passing through desolate areas like Kazakhstan and Siberia away from the railways would be a spooky experience. You'd put your tent up and it was so quiet you could hear your heart beat and your tinnitus. You would always think though that somebody was sneaking up on you and would stab you to death and rob you.

Re:Siberia (1)

tr897 (1206300) | about a year ago | (#45573517)

I've experienced that kind of total silence on mount Teide on Tenerife. I remember realizing how unusual it is for a place outside to be completely quiet... No birds, no insects, and there was also nothing that could rustle in a breeze or something, just rocks.

is this worth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45573477)

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