NASA Releases Black Hole Audio Clip, And It’s Absolutely Horrifying

by Caitlin Berard

Everyday life can feel incredibly mundane. Sitting in traffic, working at a desk for eight hours a day, watching the same TV shows night after night… It can all seem so boring.

But there’s a cure! Next time you’re stopped at the fifth red light of the morning or pushing through the last hour at the office, just remember that you’re actually on a giant lava-filled rock hurtling through the infinite expanse of space at 67,000 miles per hour.

And if you’re really in need of some nightmare fuel to enliven a dreary day, take a listen to the black hole audio NASA casually released earlier this year.

But wait, you’re thinking. Black hole audio? Isn’t there no sound in space? No, no, my friend. You see, for decades, we incorrectly assumed that black holes were just visually and theoretically horrifying. In actuality, they’re audibly terrifying as well!

As you can see, the black hole audio is exactly what you’d imagine it would sound like to be abducted by aliens. Or step into a real-life Twilight Zone. Or find yourself in the galaxy’s most haunted unearthly cemetery.

“This is cool – and really, really spooky,” CNN anchor Jim Sciutto wrote on Twitter in response to the audio. “That scene in the movie when someone accidentally stumbles upon some sort of satanic cult in the middle of the woods,” added Resident Alien actress Elizabeth Bowen.

NASA Debunks Common Misconception With Black Hole Audio

With the release of the black hole audio, NASA reminds us that space is not incapable of producing sound. We just don’t hear the sounds it does make because the majority of them are absorbed by the vacuum of space. And those it doesn’t absorb are out of the range of human hearing.

The unedited audio produced by the waves of pressure emanating from the black hole, for example, is 57 octaves below middle C. This puts it well out of range of human hearing. In order to produce the ghostly sounds in the clip, NASA had to put its incredibly high-tech tools to work.

They first captured the data from the Perseus cluster using the Chandra X-ray Observatory. NASA then scaled the sounds up from their true pitch a smidge. Just 144 quadrillion and 288 quadrillion times their original frequency.

As NASA themselves explained, “the popular misconception that there is no sound in space originates with the fact that most of space is essentially a vacuum, providing no medium for sound waves to propagate through.”

“A galaxy cluster, on the other hand, has copious amounts of gas that envelop the hundreds or even thousands of galaxies within it, providing a medium for the sound waves to travel.”