11 Loudest Sounds Ever Recorded

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Loudest Sounds Ever Recorded

If you are a fan of sci-fi or action movies, you are not new to the Titans. Godzilla and King Kong are probably the most powerful and loud animals amongst them. Their roars are no doubt deafening but what if we say that there are sounds that are even louder. Yes, surprisingly nature and mankind have given a tough competition even to the deadliest animals. The 11 loudest sounds even recorded are not only deafening but can also make your eyes and lungs pop out. 

A sperm whale’s grunt is 174 dB and you can hear it from almost 3 miles away, and yet is number 7 on our list of the loudest sounds ever recorded. Keep reading this post to uncover the loudest sounds ever recorded.

These Loudest Sounds Ever Recorded Can Make You Deaf

If fire alarms scare you and airplane noises don’t let you sleep, we bet these loudest sounds ever recorded will leave you stunned. Research shows that living in a noisy world can damage your ears, and some of the entries on our list aren’t even audible to human ears. Humans can only hear sounds between 0 dB and 130 dB.

We have compiled a list of the 11 loudest sounds ever recorded that could have possibly put a full stop to the functioning of your brain. Let’s look at them one by one.

1. The Krakatoa Eruption (310 dB)

 The Krakatoa volcanic eruption
Source: DW.com

Marked as one of the “most violent geologic events” in Earth’s history, the Krakatoa Eruption created so much sound that it has secured the first place in the list of loudest sounds ever recorded.

On August 27, 1883, on a late Monday morning, humans witnessed one of the “deadliest and most destructive” volcanic events of all time. The Krakatoa Island, which is located between the Islands of Java and Sumatra, exploded and caused heavy destruction followed by Tsunamis and other major losses.

This eruption produced a sound at 310dB, the loudest sound ever produced. Even people living 1,930 miles away could hear it. Residents in the vicinity reported that the sound resembled that of artillery in a north-westerly direction or like a distant roar of heavy gunfire.

2. Tsar Bomba (224 dB)

Tsar bomba
Source: livescience.com

Tsar Bomba is evidence of how mankind is competing with nature to turn it into “man’s kingdom.” Right after nature’s portrayal of fury, the Krakatoa eruption, a man made catastrophe ranks second in the list of the loudest sounds ever recorded.

Tsar Bomba or the AN602 is the “most powerful nuclear bomb” ever created and tested. The bombs used in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki incidents are nothing when compared to this hydrogen aerial bomb. With a weight of 27,000 kg, this 8 m long bomb was tested in 1961 and is the loudest sound ever created by humans. 

The sound caused by this Soviet bomb was recorded at 224 dB and the explosion it caused is almost equal to or more than 50 megatons of TNT. The ripples that were produced were probably even felt by your grandparents, irrespective of which part of the world they were in, at that moment.

3. Saturn V Rocket (204 dB)

Saturn V Rocket
Source: nasa.gov

Mankind never fails to impress. The urge of humans to create something that will outstand their own capabilities and others’ imagination every time is stunning. One such creation was the “tallest and most powerful” spacecraft, a great success by NASA. 

During its first stage of the launch, i.e., the SI-C stage, the rocket produced a very loud sound that was recorded at 204 dB. Experts say that it was so loud that you could almost see the sound waves.

4. Republic XF-84H Thunderscreech (200 dB)

Republic XF-84H Thunderscreech (200 dB)

A human’s mind is like a complicated yet brilliant device. It is constant work to create something better, either to conquer, or protect. The Republic XF-84H “Thunderscreech” was such a brainchild that was created for experiments. Though this experimental turboprop aircraft never made it to any combat, yet it is famous for the loud sound that it left behind.

The sound of the Thunderscreech was recorded at around 200 dB and could be heard from even 25 miles away. Such a loud sound was produced as the craft was powered by a turbine engine that was connected to a supersonic propeller.

5. Tunguska Meteor (197 dB)

Tunguska Meteor
Source: Patrika.com

As much as you enjoy watching nature’s shows, they can sometimes shake you to the core. In 1908, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River, a huge explosion took place. It produced a series of shock waves. 

Reports say that it was caused due to a midair burn of a meteorite above the earth’s surface. The blast was so severe that it’s sound was almost equal to 650 Hiroshima bombs.. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported, but the sound caused uneasiness amongst the residents. The sound produced by this meteor was recorded at approximately 197 dB.

6. Sperm Whales (188 dB)

Sperm Whales
Source: natureworldsafaris.com

No, the Blue Whale is not the loudest animal on Earth, it’s the Sperm Whale. It produces a deep sound that is approximately 188 dB. In fact, when communicating with fellow whales, it can produce up to 200 dB sounds. You definitely need the best hearing protection headphones if you’re planning to spend a day with them!

7. Chelyabinsk Meteor (180 dB)

Chelyabinsk Meteor
Source: universetoday.com

If the thought of one TNT blast is scary, imagine a blast equivalent to the force of 500 kilotons of TNT. Yes, we are talking about the Chelyabinsk Meteor, the Russian Meteor blast that even Americans could hear. 

The sound produced by the meteor was recorded at 180 dB and is one of the loudest sounds ever recorded in the Earth’s history. Unfortunately, apart from the deafening noise, the meteor also caused major destruction and injured almost 1000 people in its proximity.

8. Large European Acoustic Facility or LEAF (154 dB)

Source: Phys.org

When talking about the loudest sounds, it is impossible to leave LEAF out of this list. 

The Large European Acoustic Facility or LEAF is the “most powerful” sound system in Europe. It was used to test acoustic noise tests on space crafts and external payloads of the crafts to ensure total security during the launch. This sound system is a part of the ESTEC Test Center that is located in the Netherlands. 

The walls of the LEAF have a set of sound horns that can produce sounds of a range of 154 dB when nitrogen is passed through them. It is one of the loudest sounds ever recorded. Therefore, it can be turned on only when all the doors are sealed properly.

9. Howler Monkeys (140 dB)

Howler monkeys
Howler Monkeys

It is nearly impossible to believe that the howls of the howler monkeys can travel almost 3 miles and are as loud as 140dB. It is quite interesting to find out that only the males of this species howl for defending or for mating. 

They have a hyoid bone in their throats that acts as a resonating chamber that amplifies their roar.

10. Lesser Bulldog Bats (137 dB)

Lesser bulldog bats
Source: portugal.inaturalist.org

We are fortunate enough that some sounds are beyond our perception otherwise we would have been deaf by now. Lesser bulldog bats produce one such sound. These super-powered bats’ cries are so piercing that they could have been painful for us if we could hear them.

11. Concert by AC/DC (130 dB)

AC/DC concert in 1980

AC/DC, an Australian rock band, embarked on their Back In Black tour in 1980. During their concerts, they cranked up the volume to 130 decibels on many occasions. Years later, when the band was forced to reschedule a series of shows or risk singer Brian Johnson losing his hearing completely, the consequences were felt.

Final Thoughts 

It’s quite surprising how sounds can be both soothing and painful. The right type of sound in the right frequency can heal your mind whereas a slight shift in the frequency can even be ear-shattering.

While writing this article it seemed as if nature and humans are competing with each other to create the loudest sounds that have ever existed.