Jackhammers, jet engines,
nuclear weapons. Are they the best,
most loudest sounds of all time? What is the loudest sound possible? To find out the limit,
all aboard the BOAT. [BOAT] Sound is a series
of pressure waves. When it travels
through a material like air, there are periods of compression
and rarifaction, where the molecules
are pushed closer together or pulled further apart. The distance between each of these periods
is the frequency, and it determines the pitch,
whether the sound is high or low. What humans call “sound”
goes from about 20 cycles a second to 20,000 cycles a second. This sine wave is currently going
through the entire range. But enough about pitch—
let’s talk about power. The amplitude of a sound wave determines
how loud we perceive it to be. Zero decibels is the beginning
of human hearing. It’s about the sound of a mosquito
ten feet away. Thirty decibels is a quiet whisper,
and a telephone’s dial tone is at about 80 decibels. If you stand three feet away
from a power mower, you’ll hear about 107,
and a rock concert can clock over 115. At 125 decibels,
physical pain occurs, and 100 feet from a jet engine,
you’ll hear 140. Now, at 180 decibels,
hearing tissue dies instantly. But what’s the limit? Well, it turns out that a sound wave
can only be so loud based on the material
it’s traveling in. A sound wave can cause
a lot of compression, but it can only cause a rarifaction
equal in magnitude to the pressure of the rest
of the material around it, like air. And so at sea level on Earth,
that’s about 14 pounds per square inch, which equates to about 191 decibels. Of course, in different material,
the limit is different. For instance, underwater,
sounds can get really loud. The pistol shrimp creates a sound
of 218 decibels to stun its prey. It does this by snapping a claw
that shoots water so quickly it forms a cavitation bubble—
an empty zone full of a little bit of water vapor
that is crushed by the entire weight of the ocean. With that much pressure collapsing it,
a cavitation bubble can be crunched and cause a momentary,
fraction of a second temperature greater than the surface of the sun. Of course, it is so short lived
and such a small event, it’s a relatively low-energy event
and wouldn’t really hurt humans. So let’s move on to larger events—
things that cause pressure so intense, we can’t really even call them sound anymore,
but shock waves, and measure them in Richter. Now, the Richter scale is logarithmic,
which means that each incremental change up is huge. A large hand grenade produces a shock wave
at about 0.2 Richter, but, Tsar Bomba, the largest atomic weapon
ever detonated by mankind, released the same amount of energy
as a magnitude 8.12 earthquake, and the earthquake recently in Japan
registered at 9 on the Richter scale. An event at 10 or above
has never been witnessed by humankind, but it’s estimated that the meteorite
smacking into Earth at the Yucatan Peninsula
that wiped out the dinosaurs, would have been so loud,
it would have registered 12.25 on the Richter Scale. At the very extreme,
we have star quakes. These events occur on dead stars
that have collapsed into neutron stars—
so dense that one little teaspoon of their material would weigh
as much as 900 Great Pyramids of Giza. These structures go through earthquakes
just like Earth, but there’s so much energy involved
that when it occurs, it’s phenomenal. The largest ever recorded
was in 2004, when Magnetaur SGR 1806-20
adjusted itself with a force equal to 22.7
on the Richter Scale. It happened 50,000 light years
away from Earth, but if it had happened closer,
like, say, 10 light years away, which is still 60 trillion miles,
it still would have caused enough force
to have caused mass extinction on Earth. So there you go—loud stuff. If you still want more,
click on any of these to hear some really cool audio illusions. Subscribe to Vsauce 2
for more information, and as always,
thanks for watching. [Vsauce 2]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

100 thoughts on “LOUDEST POSSIBLE SOUND?? — BOAT #7”

  1. Brian Noll says:

    he face was thicker 2011 now its smaller

  2. Horus Chan says:

    Can the loudest sound possible produced by a neutron star collision or the most massive quasar ? (shell of dense iron plasma shooting into the space, or particles being heated and accelerated close to the speed of light?)

  3. Amber.mp4 says:

    Turning on a computer at 3:00 am

  4. Abhishek Kaushik says:

    1100 decibels are enough to create a black hole!!!

  5. Rastko Glisic says:

    Sound of my passive gpu cooler

  6. Nikita Romanovskis says:

    Lol at night times i hear mosquito 5 meters away….my hearing at night times goes into negatives

  7. Ramiro Hernandez says:

    Loudest sound in the Universe is the xbox 360 or xbox one startup at 2:00 am

  8. Thatgiftguy says:

    The thx sound

  9. Alberto 9324 says:

    loudest sound? black woman disagreeing

  10. JiInaGuru says:

    Fun fact: A sound at 1100 dB can cause a black hole to form

  11. Brayden Morris says:

    The loudest sound ever recorded in human history is the Krakatoa volcanic eruption and the sound traveled around the earth 3 and a half times and the sound obliterated the island it was on and ones around it

  12. J0ZZE123 says:

    The loudest noise will be the scream of the that toddler in the video when the blades sever one of his limbs.

    What Jackass of a father he has.

  13. Dead Zone says:

    Is it possible for a sound wave to distort or alter time? Can some sound waves rip through or destroy gravity? Is sound an absolute necessity for our universe to function? Is sound really even, "sound", if things like our ears or the ears of other creatures never developed?
    Why do animal brains translate wave in the air into a sound?
    Did ears develop as a survival mechanism or a way to communicate? How much wood could a wood chuck chuck, if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

  14. Militant says:

    Jesus Christ, pistol shrimp are super damn powerful.

  15. Staircase Mishap Aleks says:

    Loudest sound ever? The black girls at school in the morning

  16. Zagan says:

    Loudest sound is my computer running gta 5

  17. Mr Wolfe says:

    dropping a fork on cutlery at night

  18. Zxpherz Music says:

    What about the volcano of Krakatoa

  19. Nimö says:

    Pewdiepie is the loudest…

  20. Ameratsu lolol says:

    I HAVE THE TSAR BOMBA ON GMOD follow me on steam so we can play I'm seargent karma the werewolf

  21. Acid Solar YT says:

    So none is gonna talk about that baby on the mower???

  22. Ba-RAY! says:

    The loudest thing???
    The scream you hear after that guy drunk orange juice after he brushed his teeth

  23. Grease says:

    when you trigger a baby

  24. Dayofthedaleks152 says:

    X1000 frying pan

  25. chargebolt - says:

    The loudest thing I heard is when I farted…

  26. Brian Smith says:

    What if we took the size of the source into account with the loudness produced? Does such a measurement exist? Or even the distance from the source.

  27. Diego Carranza says:

    Loudest sound is a black woman for sure

  28. Dhgff Fhcdujhv says:

    …. and where is krakatoa island volcano explosion at 310 decibels ?

  29. Patrickhh says:

    RIP headphones users

  30. Danny says:

    The loudest sound ever has 3 subjects:
    An Italian conversation
    The valve start up sound
    And a shampoo bottle hitting the floor in the shower

  31. Pedro Talons says:

    A shrimp can make a heat higher than Suns surface… Só we are going to ignore that? OK… Sure?… OK…

  32. Tommy Fierimomte says:

    The loudest thing is dropping a spoon a 2am in your kitchen

  33. Scott Breitbarth says:


  34. Dragon Warhammer says:

    Congratulations. Your child is losing its hearing already!

  35. I Cant Walk says:

    Is it true there is a sound that humans can't hear, but messes with their balance?

  36. Michael Kelligan says:

    The loudest sound ever recorded…… Mt.Krakatoa exploded in 1883 and the sound travelled the globe 3.5 times before dissipation…..thats LOUD! Your video isn't so good bud! Why leave that info out?

  37. Backo says:

    So dis old?

  38. HO LAM YIU says:

    Is it normal that I can't hear 1/3 of the sounds on the sound range?

  39. Mason Botkin says:

    It’s decibles not decibels

  40. hasaan rodriguez says:

    What is the strongest form of electricity?

  41. Kev264 says:

    Deep impact scene

  42. War Dippy says:

    Kevin? I really like you Michael, but where is Kevin?


    The loudest sound ever was the big bang

  44. bandit did drugs says:

    THX intro

  45. Alexander Wilson says:

    What if we were were just a small molicule, floating amonst other molicules that designed the world for god. *Phew* our solar system looks like a small popping bubble.

  46. Kidlat says:

    The sound made by the Krakatoa volcanic eruption in 1883 was so loud it ruptured eardrums of people 40 miles away, travelled around the world four times, and was clearly heard 3,000 miles away.

  47. meesalikeu says:

    i ripped off about a 120 db krakatoa fart once.

  48. sorrowful Satchel says:

    Why is Michael here? Did he not get the memo that this is a Vsauce2 video? Where’s kevin?

  49. Kuanggap Marpaung says:

    The loudest sound is when dragonborn screaming fus ro dah

  50. Hunor Veress says:

    How to badic creator!

  51. ThatThetaGuy says:

    my comment is rigged…
    1 like = 1 decibel

  52. RQType Gaming says:

    "Loudest possible sound" – featuring a woman talking. Sounds about right.

  53. Nikhil Sierros says:

    This video helped me so much on my physics test! Thanks Vsauce!!

  54. Yoshigon34 says:

    Oh come on guys, you all have to know the true loudest sound we've experienced is.. uh..

    the THX logo

  55. xyz says:

    Imagine if the universe had air, and imagine hearing neutron star colision. Damn, even worse, imagine if you could hear the big bang, some scientists said if you wanted to make a 1000+ DB sound, youd create a black hole bigger than the universe itself.

  56. Jynflyn1 - says:

    I go to school on an Air Force base so I hear a lot of jets

  57. Intrumental says:

    Answer: my sister

  58. ItsMandatory / IM says:

    the loudest thing is USSR anthem + earrape + headphones

  59. Richard Pike says:

    Excuse my scientific knowledge, but isn't the difference between the periods actually called the wavelength, and the number of waves per second is the frequency?

  60. shit fuck says:


  61. SrkstiK says:

    You have a Vsauce 4?

  62. Backyard Films says:

    A Russian player rushing B

  63. kyle fisher22 says:

    Ohh yeah An old vsauce video

  64. I'm Not Mad says:


  65. elijah_xxl says:

    Footsteps in fortnite

  66. Cyka Blyat says:

    Probably ur mom is the loudest

  67. SounDzZz-_ Manny says:

    The loudest sound ever created was the BIG BANG :)))))

  68. AcornX says:

    Amazing video

  69. deleted says:

    Drop ur spoon at 2 am

  70. It's Easy says:

    0:41 AHHH MY EARS!!

  71. Zachary Zdanczewicz says:

    Omg that baby sitting on the running lawn mower is awful

  72. Aries The Ram says:

    Dropping a spoon at 2 AM

  73. Jameslee Seipei says:

    PlayStation 2.

  74. mahadisal ahadani says:

    not even a single one wonder how we even still alive and not extinct with this so simple and complex things out there that could wipe us in a blink of an eye.

  75. Umamahesh Kadiyam says:

    1100 dB creates a black hole larger than the observable universe!!

  76. CuriousG says:

    Flushing toilet bowl at night

  77. RadziX says:

    2:47 oof

  78. Admiral Anger says:

    11,000 because Jake said it would make a black hole

  79. The Science Man says:

    Sound is so powerful. The incredible sheer power of the air is just mind boggling to even think about. Absolutely AWESOME!

  80. Aries The Ram says:

    Dropping the spoon at 3 AM

  81. Seamo One says:

    To think that star "Adjusted Itself" 50,000 years ago….. but we''re seeing it in 2004. So it occurred in….. 49,796 B.C.

  82. Sigh Phi Guy says:

    stepping on a a lego in my bare feet.
    puts a "star quake" to shame.

  83. Pineapple&Ginseng says:

    Loudest sound is Michael's usual entry. Okay, not the loudest, perhaps most noticeable?

  84. Harsh Arya says:

    Isn't big bag is the biggest bang? (Correct me if I am wrong)

  85. Drew Bloss says:

    Loudest sound is dropping a spoon at 2 am

  86. Janny Worrell says:

    5 tzar bomba's exploding at the same time, and humans will take the db-record in modern history from krakatoa.

  87. *Good Vibes* says:

    When you sneeze during a test and everyone looks at you

  88. *Good Vibes* says:

    You go downstairs and get a snack in the middle of the night

  89. ResidentEvil302cuba rican215 says:

    I really didnt like that baby on the lawnmower

  90. Soreberry1 M says:

    Have you even dropped a shampoo bottle in the shower

  91. Araknus2002 says:

    Meridia's Beacon

  92. VaporChickenWave says:

    name of song? is so cool

  93. SOUVIK SEN says:

    Krakatoa— am i a joke to u ??

  94. duckin says:

    Hey guys, 69heyguys here.
    If you guys would tell me what is the music used for BOAT, that would be so epic.

  95. mochi tears 2.0 says:

    Accidentally pressing the voice to text thing at night…

  96. CrazyNirvanaFanatic MahBoi says:

    What about 1100 decibels

  97. Derek Wall says:

    the loudest man made sound was likely the sound produced by the 50 megaton Tsar bomb which generated about 282 decibels. but the loudest sound made by nature was the 1883 eruption of krakatoa which produced an estimated 310 decibels. sailors 40 miles away had their eardrums shattered (and that occurs around 175-180 decibels)

  98. louie says:

    why is vsauce on vsauce 2

  99. pauldzim says:

    "Most Loudest?"

  100. zu5hii says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *