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Can you hear this sound that’s terrorizing teenagers in Philadelphia?

I now interrupt a somewhat slow news day in Kentucky to ask a very important question: can you hear the sound in this audio clip? If not, you are officially old.

On Friday, NPR’s Morning Edition did a story about the “Mosquito,” a sonic device that emits extremely loud, high-frequency noises to keep humans and animals away from designated areas. The sound is in the 17.5 to 18.5 kilohertz range, and therefore inaudible to most people over the age of 30 because of hearing loss due to aging or noise pollution. The city of Philadelphia is using Mosquitoes around its parks, recreation centers, and playground areas at night in hopes of reducing vandalism; as you might expect, that’s rubbed some people the wrong way — which is a totally valid debate — but as someone who can’t hear the noise, I just want someone to describe it to me.

Listen below around the 33-second mark:

What do you hear? Is it our old pal Slim Whitman??

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

29 responses to “Can you hear this sound that’s terrorizing teenagers in Philadelphia?”

  1. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree

    I’m over 30 and heard a ringing ear noise.

    1. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree

      It also feels like it slightly throws off your equilibrium.

    2. timbo

      Ditto to both of these guys. I’m almost 40. YUCK that hurts.

    3. gobble gobble

      Blame it on the baby boomers

  2. N-UR-i

    I turned it up very loud and couldn’t hear it (age 43). My 14 year old said it was crazy loud though.

    1. dericknky

      I could not hear it. I am 54. My son, who is 19, could hear it. He said it sounded like an old cathode ray tube TV when it was warming up right after you turned it on.

    2. thatCat

      Because a 19 year old knows what an old cathode Ray tube tv is…

    3. StuckinLville

      Apparently he does

  3. macattack

    I’m 31 and I could hear it, but it was more than just hearing it. I can kinda feel it too. It made me a little disoriented. Weird. I don’t know that those are the best deterrent to use.

  4. Dairy Queen All American

    I’m 39 and I heard it clearly, even on low volume. It sounds like high pitched feedback from a microphone hooked up to a speaker system.

  5. az1006

    I’m 34 and could hear it…But I agree, it made me FEEL uncomfortable too, like my equilibrium was thrown off a bit. I’d liken it to walking into a quiet room where a TV is on, but the picture is all black.

  6. Mathlete

    I’m over 30 and still heard that clearly and it was REALLY unpleasant.

    You know that random ringing you get in your ear now and then? It’s like that, only louder

  7. JoeMoney333

    31 – as a deterrent it works. I wouldn’t want to mess with that going on.

  8. Guy In An Unbuttoned Hawaiian Shirt

    Yes, it sounds like inner ear damage. I literally had to rip my headphones off.

    It sounds like the TV when it’s on but the cable is off, or like a old dimmer switch that’s halfway on, or like an electric fence between shocks, or like being hit in the head with a soccer ball.

    I’m 36.

    I imagine if you turned it on in a room full of people, they would all have to start killing each other like that scene from The Kingsmen…

  9. BluemanGreen

    Even with all the concerts and loud events Ive attended in my 38 years i can still hear it plain as day on low volume…if you cant you really should get your ears checked out!

  10. Realme

    42 and that would deter me from vandalizing a park. Wasn’t super loud, but very disturbing.

  11. runningunnin.454

    Yeah, I heard it; it’s a G7sus4 produced by tuning forks. My three Scottish Terriers heard it, too; now, I have to go outside because they won’t shut up…thanks.

  12. StuckinLville

    Im 34 and that sound is awful. I can imagine it driving u nuts.

  13. ibescootch

    I’m 38, and definitely heard it. It actually sounds exactly like my brakes right now! I need new pads and rotors…

  14. swarrenwilson

    46 and I heard it. Annoying!

  15. Skooms

    I’m 38 and when it played I crapped my pants and had an orgasm at the same time. Guess I’m in the minority?

  16. catdaddyd

    I’ve got a app that plays that. Sounds like a good idea to me, since they are doing it after 10pm to cut down on vandalism and such.

  17. WatchutalkinboutWillis

    I’m 38, I hear it loud and clear. It sounds like when you walk into a room where an old TV or computer monitor is on and you can hear the sound of the monitor itself. I used to always know it was a day we got to play on computers in 5th grade because I could hear the monitors on from in the hall.

    1. Bluehender

      My wife and I are in our 60s. The old surround sound home theater system that we had in our house had a similar noise. When the grandkids would come over and spend the night with us, we would put a movie in and the kids would complain about the noise coming from the speakers. It would drive them nuts but we couldn’t hear it. Lol..I guess it was a real thing. They would say “you can’t hear that?” And of course we would laugh and say, “hear what?”

  18. maconvolfan

    RIP Slim. Even if you did bring AIDS to South Florida.

  19. ukbradstith

    I’m 41 with what I thought was extremely good hearing. Total silence even with iPad on full blast.

  20. jakew60

    I’m 20 and I can’t hear it, now I’m worried

  21. slangterm

    Jesus, I’m hard of hearing in one ear, and 37, and it’s awful.

  22. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door