© The Independent, UK
It was often blamed on phone masts, submarine communications and pipes.
Scientists have confirmed the cause of a strange humming noise
that emanates from the Earth and has baffled people for more than forty years - and was even a factor in one reported suicide.
The noise has been talked about worldwide and also made local newspaper headlines in the UK. It is often referred to as a "phenomenon" and "the hum", usually prefixed with the location of where it is heard.
In Britain, the most famous example was the "Bristol hum" that made the news in the late 1970s. One newspaper asked readers in the city: "Have you heard the Hum?" and at least 800 people said they had - according to the BBC - and some had suffered headaches and nosebleeds from it.
It has been described like "a diesel car idling in the distance" by a BBC interviewee and the maddening sound has driven people stir-crazy in trying to figure it out. Especially when they can only hear it at home and during the night.
People living on the south coast have complained this week of a constant and low-pitched sound for which they have found no cause - as reported by Plymouth Herald
It has been mistaken for leaking pipes, phone masts, wind farms, low-frequency submarine communications and even mating fish
"For the first few years I lost sleep, couldn't concentrate and was unable to do anything. I was constantly in tears, which put a great strain on my husband. It has changed me from an active, creative person to a stifled, angry pessimist," a woman told The Independent back in 1994
Doctors blamed patients' abilities to hear it on tinnitus, until Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge had confirmed sometime in the 1990s that the cause is external.