What sound does a giraffe make? Could it be a deep, mysterious hum?
People living close to Paignton Zoo in Devon have reported that a low-frequency droning sound centred on the zoo’s giraffe enclosure is causing some peculiar health problems.
The effects of the noise are said to include headaches, tremors, a feeling of irritation, sickness and insomnia.
The complaints about the strange, deep, rumbling throb have been building for some time. And now a petition with 165 signatures has been handed to the local council in the hope that they might be able to trace the source of the mystery sound and put an end to it.
One signatory, Gillian Watling, told the Torquay Herald Express that the low-frequency sound had caused her to have tremors and other bizarre symptoms, such as “waves passing down the muscles of her back, buttocks, thighs and calves” during the night.
She added: “I have also suffered heart palpitations like the feeling you get standing next to a large bass speaker that is playing music very loudly at a rock concert.”
In response to the petition, a Torbay Council spokesperson said the local authority was investigating the noise.
“We have conducted multiple assessments in several locations, including a factory and Paignton Zoo’s Giraffe House, to try to identify where reported low frequency noise is coming from.
“However, our officers have been unable to hear or detect any low frequency noise that would be an issue.
“For a noise to constitute a nuisance, it must be something that the average reasonable person would object to.”
Mysterious, untraceable humming rounds have been reported all over the world. One particularly well-known example of ‘The Hum’ can be heard by some people in Bristol, while others are completely oblivious to it.
Some researchers believe that micro-seismic activity from long ocean waves impacting on the sea bed makes causes the underlying rocks to vibrate and produce the droning sound, which can be conducted great distances inshore under certain geological conditions.
Equally, the hum could be coming from a faulty air conditioning unit. Or just giraffes that don’t know the words to a song.