Sound is mechanical. A sound is a shove — just a little one, a tap on the tightly stretched membrane of your ear drum, according to an article in FiveThirtyEight. The louder the sound, the heavier the knock. If a sound is loud enough, it can rip a hole in your ear drum. If a sound is loud enough, it can plow into you like a linebacker and knock you flat on your butt. When the shock wave from a bomb levels a house, that’s sound tearing apart bricks and splintering glass. Sound can kill you.

Extremely loud infrasounds have a definite impact on our bodies. Humans exposed to infrasounds above 110 decibels experience changes in their blood pressure and respiratory rates. They get dizzy and have trouble maintaining their balance. In 1965, an Air Force experiment found that humans exposed to infrasound in the range of 151-153 decibels for 90 seconds began to feel their chests moving without their control. At a high enough decibel, the atmospheric pressure changes of infrasound can inflate and deflate lungs, effectively serving as a means of artificial respiration.

In the Air Force report, the designation of sound power level refers to the acoustic power of the rocket engine at the engine itself. This is in contrast to the sound pressure level associated with the propagation of the acoustic energy in the surrounding air. The largest sound power levels ever experienced at NASA was approximately 204 dB.

Source: FiveThirtyEight