There has been a lot of press on hearing loss from loud noises. Like all of us who went to clubs and rock venues are doomed. And let me tell you, Michael Bolton…..yes Michael Bolton….was so loud at the Greek Theatre years ago (Celine Dion was his opening act) that I actually put my fingers in my ears and could still hear everything clearly. I believe he has a hearing loss now and wears hearing aids. (He deserves to!)

Anyway, I found this list of very loud noises including what might be the loudest noise ever in the history of the planet according to Jamie Frater of ListVerse. Keep in mind that 85dB is the sound level in which people start becoming at risk for hearing loss and 120-130dB can cause physical pain. Starting in reverse order:

10) Rock Concert Speakers, 135-145 dB (there is a reason the performers use monitors for themselves)

9) Fireworks, 145-150dB

8) Gunfire, 145-155dB

7) NHRA Dragsters, 155-160dB

6) Space Shuttle Launch, 165-170dB

5) Blue Whale, 188dB (I believe they are talking about the animal’s sounds and not a bar)

4) Volcano, (e.g. Krakatoa, 1883), 180dB

3) 1-ton TNT Bomb, 210dB

2) 5.0 Richter Earthquake (epicenter) 235dB

1) Tunguska Meteor (June 30, 1908 Russia) 300-315dB

Interesting. So I wonder how loud the Northridge Earthquake was. That quake was on the earth’s surface and not 5 miles down. It measured 7.0 on the Richter scale. I thought it was under my house and the noise is what I remember most vividly. We thought the house was falling down. Also, anyone going to the Indianapolis 500 dares not show up without earplugs. And according to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, professional French horn players are at a very high risk of hearing loss. What about drummers, trumpeters, and tuba players?

So there you have it. Stay away from volcanoes, shuttle launches, bomb blasts, earthquakes, meteors, gunfire, whales, dragsters, guns that are firing, and rock concerts and maybe your hearing will be just fine as you age. Then again, maybe not.