Jason Hawkes/Getty Images
Erika Owen
January 05, 2017

You're not imagining it. The world really does quiet down when it snows.

It's been the center of Reddit threads, family dinner table conversations, and general curiosity—what is it about a fresh snowfall that makes everything seem so tranquil? Of course, there's a reason for it, and it has everything to do with acoustics.

According to Science Daily, snow does a great job at absorbing sound.

"In the audible range, a couple inches of snow is roughly around 0.6 or 60 percent absorbing on average,” said David Herrin, an associate professor at the U.K. College of Engineering who studies acoustics. As opposed to rain, which can be very noisy, there's plenty of space between snowflakes, meaning that there is also less space for sound waves to bounce around. Combined with a snowflake's amazing absorption qualities, it creates a super quiet weather phenomenon.

So, the next time you're enjoying the tranquil scene that is a fresh snowfall, thank all those special snowflakes.

You May Like