Mt Victoria hum: Our top 10 explanations

17:05, Oct 10 2012
Mount Victoria
MT VICTORIA: Home to a constant, mysterious humming sound caused by Buddhists, aliens or spies, depending on who you choose to believe.

Mysterious humming sounds have been heard all over the world. Never to be outdone, Wellington recently got in on the hum too, with a low-frequency sound reported across Mt Victoria, Mt Cook and Te Aro.  But what's causing it? Our readers had a few ideas.  We've picked our top 10.

10. Commenter flippyone believed the hum was caused by Mother Earth, which is preparing to make "The Shift" later this year.  "I AM NOT JOKING", he added, which is how we know he isn't joking.

9. A man named Trevor emailed in this slightly more rational explanation: "Maybe it is the 50Hz hum that comes from a transformer feeding electricity to the area. If the transformer is overloaded it will hum louder, or maybe something on or near its enclosure is vibrating at 50Hz." Well, maybe, but what fun is that?

8. Wally of Te Aro suggested the hum was a sound of a certain politician's stomach after too many sandwiches. Don't be mean, Wally.

7. Another suggestion, from commenter Kevin, was that the hum was caused by meditating Buddhist monks.  A cursory look over the fundamental tenets of the Buddhist religion revealed no references to the generation of constant low humming sounds. Back to the drawing board.

6. Several Twitter users speculated the hum was related to HAARP, an ionospheric research programme being carried out by the United States.  HAARP is the subject of several conspiracy theories, and has been blamed for phenomena including earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. And also a quiet humming sound.


5. Of course, the hum could, as others suggested, be caused by some clandestine conduct a bit closer to home. Are New Zealand spies behind the hum? Was it Government Communications Security Bureau vans operating on a new frequency? Prime Minister John Key about to announce a new policy initiative? Drone aircraft overhead? Probably not. But maybe.

4. "The Mothership is preparing [to] leave," according to commenter Jared. Because what if Mt Victoria is actually an ancient alien spaceship? It would be a bit annoying for the suburb's residents, though it would make the commute between Te Aro and Hataitai substantially quicker once it left.

3. Jimmy G stepped up and took the blame - it was his three west highland terriers trying to summon Irish folk hero Cú Chulainn.  Hope it worked!

2. Another commenter, Andres DuvetKing, said it was his yodelling that was causing the hum.  BenM made the very reasonable observation that if his yodelling sounded like a quiet, low hum, he probably wasn't doing it right.

1. But to us, the absolute most plausible explanation came from commenter Matty:  Why is Mt Vic humming?  Because nobody's taught it the words yet.  Obviously.

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