This Is “The Center Of The Universe” – A Sound Anomaly Found In Tulsa

The center of the universer. Image Credit: jill, jellidonut... whatever via Flicker CC BY-SA 2.0

Optical illusions tend to get the lion's share when we talk about things that make us question reality, but acoustic anomalies can be equally trippy especially if they were not designed with the intention to confuse and mystify. This is the case for the "Center of the Universe", a peculiar location known as a sound anomaly.

It is located on a pedestrianized bridge in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is marked by a spot on the floor by a concrete circle and surrounded by planters and benches that form a wider circle around it. And when you step in it, your voice is echoed back at you but louder, and noises from outside the circle are distorted.

A video by Youtube user Trueson Daugherty called "Guy discovers the Center of the Universe, Tulsa OK", shows the echo effect from inside the circle (as well as the nearby “Artificial Cloud” statue).

There is no official explanation for how the anomaly formed, but the most likely cause is the planters around it that reflect the sound waves creating the peculiar effect. There are other anomalies in the world such as The Mystery Spot of Lake George. There too a small round stone structure created some acoustic abnormalities.

Such weird sound displays are also found in circular buildings. The dome of St Paul Cathedral in London is known as a whispering gallery, where your hushed tones are delivered across the huge dome thanks to the reverberation of sound waves.

Similar structures are to be found in so many buildings both ancient and modern. From the Mayan city of Chichen Itza to Grand Central Station in New York.

[H/T: Atlas Obscura]

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