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Superhuman Hearing Possible, Experiments Suggest

from National Geographic News

People may one day be able to hear what are now inaudible sounds, scientists say. New experiments suggest that just vibrating the ear bones could create shortcuts for sounds to enter the brain, thus boosting hearing.

Most people can hear sounds in the range of about 20 hertz (Hz) at the low end to about 20 kilohertz (kHz) at the high end.

Twenty kHz would sound like a very high-pitched mosquito buzz, and 20 Hz would be what you'd hear if "you were at an R&B concert and you just stood next to the bass," explained Michael Qin, a senior research scientist at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory in Connecticut. "It would be the thing that's moving your pants leg."

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