Most Unpleasant Sounds

Fingernail Screech

In a paper published by Dr. Sukhbinder Kumar of Newcastle University on October 10, 2012, there is a list of the ten most unpleasant sounds, as chosen by the 13 volunteers in the study. Of the 74 sounds they were subjected to, these were the most unpleasant:

Knife on a bottle
Fork on a glass
Chalk on a blackboard
Ruler on a bottle
Nails on a blackboard
Female scream
Brakes on a cycle squealing
Baby crying
Electric drill

These four were deemed the least unpleasant:

Baby laughing
Water flowing

If you go to the Newcastle press release, you will find recordings of the top five unpleasant sounds. Personally, I’d have put the fingernails on a blackboard at number one.


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