S omewhere in a wind tunnel on the south-western side of Ontario, a group of the world’s leading bridge aerodynamics and acoustics experts are puzzling over a full-scale model of the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The experts have been contracted to solve the mysterious problem of a strange humming sound that has been emanating from San Francisco’s famous bridge for the past year, driving some nearby residents to a state of madness.
The sound, heard only on windy days, has been compared to a “ghostly harmonica”, “chanting monks” and a “wheezing kazoo”.
The Golden Gate Bridge hum is particularly loud tonight. I could hear it in our underground garage, about 3 miles away. https://t.co/7hERHnwfRe
The strange whine has quickly become a legendary piece of San Francisco’s auditory landscape. Amateur sleuths have roamed the city’s hilly streets tracking the sound’s source and an electronic music producer claimed to have mixed it into a soundtrack of existential dread.
Some fans called it the “soothing” song of the bridge. Others dubbed it “creepy” or “unbearable”. One woman simply blamed it on “aliens”.