The National Parks Service recently created a map of what the United States would sound like if all of the traces of human activity were removed from the picture. Washington Post staffer Christopher Ingraham takes a look at the map which was created using 1.5 million hours of audio recordings form 479 locations across the U.S.
The map shows that the quietest regions were arid western regions while the noisiest were along the coast and waterways:
In short, where there's water, there's noise. This is partly because water itself is noisy -- think the pattering of raindrops, the burbling of creeks and the crashing of waves. But where there's water there's life, and life is pretty noisy too. "The trend is higher sound levels in wetter areas with more vegetation," the National Park Service writes.