(via Reddit) According to an article on the Hindustan Times website, Why world's most silent room is scary, the anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis, Minnesota is the quietest place on earth. According to the article, it's virtually impossible to stay in for substantial lengths of time:
"We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark - one reporter stayed in there for 45 minutes", said company’s founder and president, Steven Orfield.
The article uses a lot of passive voice, and cites the Mail Online, so I'm not confident about the accuracy of its claims -- but Anechoic chamber is the first thing that comes up when you google Orfield Labs, so I think at least that part is probably true.
I hope the part about them challenging people to stay in it is true, too, because I definitely want to try it out. I mean, like, if my therapist thinks it's okay. Sensory deprivation isn't exactly known for encouraging psychological stability -- from "Negative effects" on the Sensory deprivation Wikipedia page:
One study took 19 volunteers, all of whom tested in the lower and upper 20th percentiles on a questionnaire which measures the tendency of healthy people to see things not really there, and placed them into a pitch black, soundproof booth for 15 minutes. After, they completed another test that measures psychosis-like experiences, originally used to study recreational drug users. Five people reported seeinghallucinations of faces, six reported seeing shapes/faces not actually there, four noted a heightened sense of smell and two people reported sensing a "presence of evil" in the room.
I wonder how that would feel, and whether I'd be okay with it. (I imagine not, since apparently no one has been able to spend more than 45 minutes in one.) I'm also (surprisingly intensely) curious about what it would sound like to sing in a room that silent. I imagine a feeling of having my voice pulled out of my throat and taken away, but I don't suspect I'm very good at guessing what that kind of room would sound like.