Netherlands' LEAF sound system is so loud it could kill you

The LEAF, short for Large European Acoustic Facility, will never host the world's biggest music show and for good reason. This large facility, built in the name of science, produces only noise. And not just noise, mind you, but noise that could potentially blow your head off from your ears if you happened to still be inside the chamber when it blasts spectral noise, believed to be the loudest in the world. Luckily, no one has been reported to have suffered that fate yet.

The existence of this noisy machine may sound strange (no pun intended), but it does serve a scientific purpose. LEAF tests the strength of space rockets in order to see if they can withstand the forces applied on it during takeoff. To produce such force, the leaf belches out sound along the range of 154 decibels. That is supposedly more than four times louder than a jet taking off.

Considering that music is normally played at 80 decibels, you can already guess the effect it would have on humans. Going deaf is probably the least of your worries. It is said to be akin to a firecracker exploding inside your ear, which can pretty much damage your entire head as well. Fortunately, that is only in theory, at least the exploding head part. But even if you were to actually survive a blast, you would still very well die if left inside that chamber from lack of oxygen and superfluous nitrogen inside the room required to simulate a rocket launch.

Luckily for humans, the LEAF sound system is practically useless for any other kind of audio output except noise. Sure you can probably hook up a media player to the sound system, but it will still come out as garbage, indiscernible and unappreciated.

VIA: Vice