The Taos hum is the name given to an acoustic phenomenon that has plagued the citizens of Taos, New Mexico for years. It involves reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming noise not audible to all people.


The essential element that defines the Hum is what is perceived as a persistent low-frequency sound, often described as being comparable to that of a distant diesel engine idling, or to some similar low-pitched sound for which obvious sources (e.g., household appliances, traffic noise, etc.) have been ruled out. There are a number of audio reproductions of the Hum available on the web, as well as at least one purported recording.

Other elements seem to be significantly associated with the Hum, being reported by an important proportion of hearers, but not by all of them. Some people hear the Hum only, or much more, inside buildings as compared with outdoors. Some perceive vibrations that can be felt through the body. Earplugs are reported as not decreasing it.

Possible Explanations

Hypotheses include:

  • Machinery
  • A diesel engine in the distance
  • Extraterrestrial activity
  • Government experiments


  • Many hums have been heard all over the world, such as the famous Kokomo hum.
  • Roughly 2% of the population of Taos, New Mexico can hear the hum.