The use of vuvuzelas — a long plastic horn popular with South African soccer fans — at the World Cup has sparked debate about the level of tolerable noise at a sporting event. Here’s a look at some other sounds that are not music to our ears.
#10 Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber
“Hey, wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?” JimCarrey doesn’t give you, or his hapless hitchhiker, much of an option. The sound, a mixture of a car suddenly braking and a Wookie howling, is a lesson for all those who would hitchhike on a van decorated to look like a shaggy dog — just say no, or you may be going on the auditory ride of your life.
The next time your tone-deaf significant other brings you out to a drunken night of karaoke, consider yourself lucky that you’re not listening to a cicada mating song instead. Every 13 or 17 years, periodical cicadas of the Magicicada genus emerge en masse in eastern North America to sing, mate and drive locals into fitful bouts of insomnia. The males (much like their human counterparts) are the primary culprits, producing their deafening love “song” with timbals, an accordion-like membrane built into their exoskeleton. Your boyfriend wants to do a mashup of “My Heart Will Go On” and “Thong Song”? No problem. Just smile and remember the cicadas.