Jackhammers, jet engines,
nuclear weapons. Are they the best,
most loudest sounds of all time? What is the loudest sound possible? To find out the limit,
all aboard the BOAT. [BOAT] Sound is a series
of pressure waves. When it travels
through a material like air, there are periods of compression
and rarifaction, where the molecules
are pushed closer together or pulled further apart. The distance between each of these periods
is the frequency, and it determines the pitch,
whether the sound is high or low. What humans call “sound”
goes from about 20 cycles a second to 20,000 cycles a second. This sine wave is currently going
through the entire range. But enough about pitch—
let’s talk about power. The amplitude of a sound wave determines
how loud we perceive it to be. Zero decibels is the beginning
of human hearing. It’s about the sound of a mosquito
ten feet away. Thirty decibels is a quiet whisper,
and a telephone’s dial tone is at about 80 decibels. If you stand three feet away
from a power mower, you’ll hear about 107,
and a rock concert can clock over 115. At 125 decibels,
physical pain occurs, and 100 feet from a jet engine,
you’ll hear 140. Now, at 180 decibels,
hearing tissue dies instantly. But what’s the limit? Well, it turns out that a sound wave
can only be so loud based on the material
it’s traveling in. A sound wave can cause
a lot of compression, but it can only cause a rarifaction
equal in magnitude to the pressure of the rest
of the material around it, like air. And so at sea level on Earth,
that’s about 14 pounds per square inch, which equates to about 191 decibels. Of course, in different material,
the limit is different. For instance, underwater,
sounds can get really loud. The pistol shrimp creates a sound
of 218 decibels to stun its prey. It does this by snapping a claw
that shoots water so quickly it forms a cavitation bubble—
an empty zone full of a little bit of water vapor
that is crushed by the entire weight of the ocean. With that much pressure collapsing it,
a cavitation bubble can be crunched and cause a momentary,
fraction of a second temperature greater than the surface of the sun. Of course, it is so short lived
and such a small event, it’s a relatively low-energy event
and wouldn’t really hurt humans. So let’s move on to larger events—
things that cause pressure so intense, we can’t really even call them sound anymore,
but shock waves, and measure them in Richter. Now, the Richter scale is logarithmic,
which means that each incremental change up is huge. A large hand grenade produces a shock wave
at about 0.2 Richter, but, Tsar Bomba, the largest atomic weapon
ever detonated by mankind, released the same amount of energy
as a magnitude 8.12 earthquake, and the earthquake recently in Japan
registered at 9 on the Richter scale. An event at 10 or above
has never been witnessed by humankind, but it’s estimated that the meteorite
smacking into Earth at the Yucatan Peninsula
that wiped out the dinosaurs, would have been so loud,
it would have registered 12.25 on the Richter Scale. At the very extreme,
we have star quakes. These events occur on dead stars
that have collapsed into neutron stars—
so dense that one little teaspoon of their material would weigh
as much as 900 Great Pyramids of Giza. These structures go through earthquakes
just like Earth, but there’s so much energy involved
that when it occurs, it’s phenomenal. The largest ever recorded
was in 2004, when Magnetaur SGR 1806-20
adjusted itself with a force equal to 22.7
on the Richter Scale. It happened 50,000 light years
away from Earth, but if it had happened closer,
like, say, 10 light years away, which is still 60 trillion miles,
it still would have caused enough force
to have caused mass extinction on Earth. So there you go—loud stuff. If you still want more,
click on any of these to hear some really cool audio illusions. Subscribe to Vsauce 2
for more information, and as always,
thanks for watching. [Vsauce 2]

100 thoughts on “LOUDEST POSSIBLE SOUND?? — BOAT #7

  1. Can the loudest sound possible produced by a neutron star collision or the most massive quasar ? (shell of dense iron plasma shooting into the space, or particles being heated and accelerated close to the speed of light?)

  2. The loudest sound ever recorded in human history is the Krakatoa volcanic eruption and the sound traveled around the earth 3 and a half times and the sound obliterated the island it was on and ones around it

  3. The loudest noise will be the scream of the that toddler in the video when the blades sever one of his limbs.

    What Jackass of a father he has.

  4. Is it possible for a sound wave to distort or alter time? Can some sound waves rip through or destroy gravity? Is sound an absolute necessity for our universe to function? Is sound really even, "sound", if things like our ears or the ears of other creatures never developed?
    Why do animal brains translate wave in the air into a sound?
    Did ears develop as a survival mechanism or a way to communicate? How much wood could a wood chuck chuck, if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

  5. What if we took the size of the source into account with the loudness produced? Does such a measurement exist? Or even the distance from the source.

  6. The loudest sound ever has 3 subjects:
    An Italian conversation
    The valve start up sound
    And a shampoo bottle hitting the floor in the shower

  7. The loudest sound ever recorded…… Mt.Krakatoa exploded in 1883 and the sound travelled the globe 3.5 times before dissipation…..thats LOUD! Your video isn't so good bud! Why leave that info out?

  8. What if we were were just a small molicule, floating amonst other molicules that designed the world for god. *Phew* our solar system looks like a small popping bubble.

  9. The sound made by the Krakatoa volcanic eruption in 1883 was so loud it ruptured eardrums of people 40 miles away, travelled around the world four times, and was clearly heard 3,000 miles away.

  10. Imagine if the universe had air, and imagine hearing neutron star colision. Damn, even worse, imagine if you could hear the big bang, some scientists said if you wanted to make a 1000+ DB sound, youd create a black hole bigger than the universe itself.

  11. Excuse my scientific knowledge, but isn't the difference between the periods actually called the wavelength, and the number of waves per second is the frequency?

  12. not even a single one wonder how we even still alive and not extinct with this so simple and complex things out there that could wipe us in a blink of an eye.

  13. Sound is so powerful. The incredible sheer power of the air is just mind boggling to even think about. Absolutely AWESOME!

  14. To think that star "Adjusted Itself" 50,000 years ago….. but we''re seeing it in 2004. So it occurred in….. 49,796 B.C.

  15. the loudest man made sound was likely the sound produced by the 50 megaton Tsar bomb which generated about 282 decibels. but the loudest sound made by nature was the 1883 eruption of krakatoa which produced an estimated 310 decibels. sailors 40 miles away had their eardrums shattered (and that occurs around 175-180 decibels)

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