Mark Morford, at SFGate, in April, wrote a lyrical, powerful piece about music the Earth itself is generating: “In other words, you love loud punk? Metal? Jazz? Deep house? Saint-Saens with a glass of Pinot in the tub? Sure you do. That’s because somewhere, somehow, deep in your very cells and bones and DNA, it links you back to source, to the Earth’s own vibration, the pulse of the cosmos. Oh yes it does. To tap your foot and sway your body to that weird new Portishead tune is, in effect, to sway it to the roar of the universe. I mean, obviously.”
As he mentions, scientists have been debating the source (or sources) of the ‘hum’ for a long time, a sampling:
Space.com (2000): Source of Earth’s Hum Revealed, Space Symphony Possible (Inaudible sound waves in the lower atmosphere that push and pull on the ground).
NPR: Detecting the Earth’s Hum for What It Is (it comes from the globe’s largest oceans during winter, apparently the result of powerful winter storms)
New Scientist (2007): Earth’s hum linked to coastal waves
LiveScience: Earth’s Hum Sounds More Mysterious Than Ever (might be caused by forces shearing across the world’s surface, from the oceans, atmosphere or possibly even the sun)
Mark Morford says this is the kind of thing, in our day to day driven world, we don’t take a moment to stop and ponder: “This is the kind of thing that, given all our distractions, our celeb obsessions and happy drugs and bothersome trifles like family and bills and war and health care and sex and love and porn and breathing and death, tends to fly under the radar of your overspanked consciousness, only to be later rediscovered and brought forth and placed directly in front of your eyeballs, at least for a moment, so you can look, really look, and go, oh my God, I had no idea.”
He’s right. My friends shake their heads at me sometimes and tease me for being a bit of a “hippie” for pondering this stuff. But it’s these kinds of mysteries that take my heart to flight, sing to me, and lighten my step as I think about the wonderful world we live in.