When it comes to things that make us question reality, optical illusions get the most attention, but audio anomalies can be just as bizarre, especially if they are not created with the goal to perplex and mystify. The “Center of the Universe,” a strange position is known as a sound anomaly, is one such example.
The famous American archaeologist Silvanus Morley (1883-1948), Director of Carnegie Institution’s Chichen Itza project, initially reported a “whispering gallery” at the Great Ballcourt during its excavation in the 1920s. “Standing in this temple, one can talk in a quiet voice and be heard distinctly at the other end of the court, 500 feet distant,” he wrote in a 1925 National Geographic article. Mesoamerican archaeologists on a discussion board stiffened 75 years later (in 2001) at the claim that the ancient Maya possessed the necessary expertise for purposeful sonic design.
It can be found in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on a pedestrianized bridge. A concrete circle marks the area on the floor, which is encircled by planters and benches that form a larger circle around it. When you walk into it, your voice reflected back to you, but louder and outside noises are warped.
The echo effect from inside the circle (as well as the neighboring “Artificial Cloud” statue) is shown in a video by Youtube user Trueson Daugherty titled “Guy discovers the Center of the Universe, Tulsa OK.”
There is no official explanation for how the anomaly came to be, but the most likely source is the surrounding planters, which reflect the sound waves, creating the strange effect. There are more oddities throughout the world, such as Lake George’s Mystery Spot. There was also an auditory anomaly caused by a little round stone building. Such weird sound displays are also found in circular buildings. The dome of St Paul Cathedral in London is known as a whispering gallery, where your hushed tones are delivered across the huge dome thanks to the reverberation of sound waves.
Similar structures can be found in a wide range of ancient and modern structures, from the Mayan city of Chichen Itza to New York’s Grand Central Station.