Science & Technology
Silent animation makes a 'thudding' sound
By T.K. Randall
December 4, 2017 · 28 comments
An animated GIF of a jumping pylon seems to create the illusion of sound even when there is none.
Watch this animation closely for a while - can you hear anything when the pylon hits the ground ?
This mind-bending audio illusion, which has been going viral over the last couple of days, shows a trio of electricity pylons using a length of cable as a skipping rope.
Despite the fact that there is no audio however, many people have reported hearing a distinct 'thudding' sound each time the jumping pylon hits the ground.
Dr Lisa DeBruine, a psychologist at the University of Glasgow, posted the animation on Twitter and then conducted a poll of 15,000 people to find out whether or not they could hear anything.
The results indicated that as many as 75% of those who viewed the image could perceive a sound.
According to Dr DeBruine, the reason for this is the ear's 'acoustic reflex' - a defensive mechanism designed to protect your hearing from an anticipated loud noise.
In this case the noise never comes, but that doesn't stop your ears 'squinting' in anticipation.
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