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How loud is the vuvuzela and how likely is it to damage your hearing?


The vuvuzela is the noise weapon of choice for fans at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The long, plastic, trumpet-shaped vuvuzela was found to emit an ear-piercing noise of 127 decibel — louder than a lawnmower (90 decibels) and a chainsaw (100 decibels).

You only need to expose your ears to this level of noise for a few minutes to run the risk of some damage to your hearing. Just a few minutes, and the fans are blasting these things for the entire game, from start to finish – that’s 90 minutes of extreme noise.

The Hear The World organisation tested the vuvuzela in a sound proofed room and compared it to alongside other popular instruments used be sports fans, it was the loudest.

  1. Vuvuzela: 127dB
  2. Air-horn: 123.6dB
  3. Samba drum: 122.2dB
  4. Referee whistle: 121.8dB
  5. Two fans singing: 121.6dB
  6. Gas horn: 121.4dB
  7. Cowbell: 114.9dB
  8. Wooden rattle: 108.2dB
  9. Inflatable fan-sticks: 99.1dB

Remember, the vuvuzela is so loud that you only need to be in earshot someone blasting on one for a few minutes to risk damaging your ears. If you are attending a World Cup game then get yourself some ear plugs or other hearing protection.


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