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pt
 #1 
I came across this document that others might find as interesting as I do. It is entitled the "ultimate sound pressure level decibel table" and goes from -80 decibels (those underwater chewing shrimp) to estimates for volcanic eruptions and nuclear bombs, in the low 300 range. Around 200 decibels will kill you. I don't understand all the physics-of-sound stuff, but it was still pretty awesome to read.

http://www.makeitlouder.com/Decibel%20Level%20Chart.txt
winterbridge55
 #2 

That was interesting pt. Thanks for posting.

CPW151
 #3 
Thanks PT for posting.  What struck me was the small amount of change from 35 which is a whisper to where damage starts.   And then to read all those noises that we are all exposed to every day above that!  It's a wonder that everyone one in the world, except those living in a cave or maybe in the dessert who never go to town don't all have tinnitus.  What a noisy world we live in!

CPW
DrNagler
 #4 
CPW posted [in part]:

It's a wonder that everyone one in the world, except those living in a cave or maybe in the dessert who never go to town don't all have tinnitus.  What a noisy world we live in!

...........

Many folks living in the relative absence of sound do have tinnitus!  Sound nourishes the auditory system.  In fact, the detecting and processing sound is the raison d'ĂȘtre of the auditory system.  It is excessive sound that's the problem!

smn

zaltys
 #5 
What struck me was the small amount of change from 35 which is a whisper to where damage starts

It is a fascinating chart but I think that sound scales can be a little misleading for us laypeople. We tend to read the scale as a linear progression whereas, as far as I'm aware, sound intensity is a logarithmic measurement. I may be oversimplifying but it is usually stated that each ten decibel increase is actually a tenfold increase in loudness. That would mean that mean that 40db isn't twice as loud as 20db, it's a hundred times louder. If that's right then it soon becomes apparent that decibel levels higher up the scale soon get to be millions of times louder than those lower down. In other words, the spectrum of loudness that a normal hearing person can percieve and tolerate is absolutely  huge. .
pessia
 #6 
I was at the US Festival concert in 1983 which is on that list at 162db. Good thing I was about 1/4 mile away!
toma5
 #7 
I was watching a show yesterday and they said that spermwhales are the loudest creatures on earth. Their call is 230 DB. But what I can't understand is why, we human, if we are in water and whales are not far away, how come we can't hear them? Is it because of the water?
The other thing that always amazes me is the fact that most profoundly deaf people, even fitted with a high-tech hearing aid usually can't make much sense of any kind of music. It shows you how fine-tuned our ears are and that when listening to any kind of music our ears probably send hundreds of signal to the cortex every second, so that music sounds so beautiful.
I've seen another show, they explained how sharks hear/feel with a nerve running through the sides of their bodies. They can detect vibrations in water 3 miles away. Their hearing/feeling system hasn't evolved for millions of years. Ours has and as far as I can understand, that's how our ears help with our balance (Yes, Dr Nagler, I know, my explanation isn't very sound....)
Have a nice day everybody!
DrNagler
 #8 
Toma asked:

Is it because of the water?

..........

I was unaware of the dB level, but the answer to your question is yes.

smn
aQuieterBreeze
 #9 
Peach-
Thanks for chart- I find it pretty fascinating!

Toma says -
About whales -
 I was watching a show yesterday and they said that spermwhales are the loudest creatures on earth. Their call is 230 DB. But what I can't understand is why, we human, if we are in water and whales are not far away, how come we can't hear them? Is it because of the water?

But isn't it true that the calls of whales can be heard by other whales - hundreds or thousands of miles away?
(For some reason I have been  under the impression they can be heard by other whales like halfway around the earth- but maybe I am wrong about that?)

Toma also mentions-
I've seen another show, they explained how sharks hear/feel with a nerve running through the sides of their bodies. They can detect vibrations in water 3 miles away.

In many cases are vibrations just another form of sound?
toma5
 #10 
As far as I know, yes, sounds are vibrations. You have probably noticed that when somebody comes from behind you and you don't hear him/her, there is actually a change in what you can hear, as if your ear can hear that the air is being displaced. So when does the vibration stop and the 'sound' start, I'm not sure. I think it is a fine line. I found it so hard when I had first lost some hearing that I couldn't 'feel' the movement of the air behind me anymore.
Anyway, talking about whales and how fantastic they are makes me feel better. Have a good one!
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