Are These The World's Most Annoying Sounds?

By Meera Dolasia on October 15, 2012

CCSS NAS-1 Word Search

What is the most unpleasant sounds to the human ear? That, was the big scientific mystery that researchers at the Welcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging at UCL and Newcastle University in England, wished to solve. So, they recruited a group of 13 people and subjected them to 74 different noises that we encounter in our everyday lives.

In order to make the results as objective and unbiased as possible, they determined the reactions, not by the listeners' expressions but by measuring their brain activity with an MRI scanner. What they discovered was that while sounds are normally processed in the brain's auditory cortex, unpleasant sounds - identified as those with a frequency of between 2,000 and 5,000 Hz - seem to activate the amygdala neurons that aid in processing emotions, making us more sensitive to that particular noise, which is why we consider it irritating or pleasing depending on what it is.

The study which was led by Dr. Sukbiner Kuman was conducted to better understand how the human brain reacts to different sound decimals, which will in turn aid scientists to better understand medical conditions like migraines or autism, where the sufferers are very sensitive to noise.

So what are the sounds that make our hair stand? Here, are the top five as revealed by the scientists in a report published in the Journal of Science earlier this month. What will probably come as a surprise (or maybe not), is that two of them are noises most of you encounter on a regular basis.


In case you are wondering, the sound that the 13 people found most pleasant was that of bubbling water! Did you find the noises as annoying? If not, be sure to let us know what noises irritate you the most, by adding your comments below.


Share by EmailShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
to use your custom avatar.
  • annoyedWednesday, February 25, 2015 at 11:26 am
    the most annoying sound is my brother screaming anybody feel my pain
    • maya worthemMonday, February 23, 2015 at 11:49 am
      • love bugThursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:16 am
        stop! stop! it hurts my ears
        • helloTuesday, February 17, 2015 at 1:15 pm
          I HATE THESE SOUNDES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          • BrodriguezFriday, February 6, 2015 at 12:22 pm
            Well those aren't so annoying
            • HiWednesday, February 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm
              Those Aren't annoying
              • weirdWednesday, February 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm
                Actually these are not that bad.
                • PunchingFriday, January 16, 2015 at 5:40 am
                  • No nameThursday, January 15, 2015 at 7:27 am
                    So annoying
                    • meadowTuesday, January 13, 2015 at 7:09 pm
                      i dont like it



                      Most Popular Articles

                      Beachbot, The World's Most Adorable Sand Artist
                      Super Bowl Sunday Is All About The . . . Food?
                      Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                      Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                      Video Of The Week - If Frozen Was A Horror Movie . . .
                      Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?

                      Latest Comments

                      raymond wrote:

                      COOLEST THING EVER
                      Video Of The Week - Can You Spot...

                      jessie123 wrote:

                      this is so cute and amazing to me
                      Clever Koalas Hug Trees To Beat ...