Discover the 7 Loudest Sounds Mother Nature Can Make

Written by Andrew Dupont
Published: October 31, 2023
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Planet Earth is full of amazing places, thanks in part to Mother Nature. Without Mother Nature, there would be no planet. She’s responsible for the rain that falls, the snow that lets us capture our romantic pictures, and the warmth that allows us to relax and enjoy the outdoors. However, like many mothers, when she gets loud, she lets you know she means business. Here are the seven loudest sounds Mother Nature naturally makes.

Hurricane — 70 dB

Palm at hurricane. Star beach, Phu Quoc island, Vietnam

While a hurricane can easily wipe out an entire city, it only reaches around 70 dB.

©vivanvu/Shutterstock.com

One of Earth’s most destructive forces is relatively quiet compared to everything else on this list. While a hurricane can easily wipe out an entire city, it only reaches around 70 dB. This is around the level of a washing machine or dishwasher being used. Make sure to listen to the weather report if they say a hurricane is coming because odds are you won’t hear it or won’t realize what it is.

Tsunami — 143 dB

tsunami

Much like hurricanes, tsunamis are incredibly destructive, but tsunamis are actually loud.

©Mimadeo/Shutterstock.com

Another water disaster on this list is a tsunami. The most notable tsunami of recent memory was the one that sadly struck the Indian Ocean in 2004 and destroyed many countries. Much like hurricanes, tsunamis are incredibly destructive, but tsunamis are actually loud. 143 dB is considered to be very harmful to human ears and can be heard if you’re at a football game during a big play. Either way, make sure you get away from a tsunami if there’s one coming, it can destroy your body and your surroundings.

Tornado — 150 dB

Beautiful supercell and tornado in the Great Plains

Not only can they take out an entire town, but they also reach noise levels of 150 dB.

©Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

Tornados make this list as something slightly louder than a tsunami that Mother Nature can create. If you live in the midwestern part of the United States, you’re very familiar with tornados and what they’re capable of. Not only can they take out an entire town, they also reach noise levels of 150 dB. That’s just slightly louder than a football stadium or jet engine. If you know a tornado is coming, take shelter underneath something that can stop debris from falling on you.

Thunder — 165 dB

Catatumbo lightning, Lake Maracaibo

It’s important to listen to the warnings thunder provides, as they could save you from being too close to lightning.

©Christian Pinillo Salas/ via Getty Images

The only thing on this list that can’t actually hurt you physically is thunder. Thunder is one of the by-products of lightning, something that can hurt you. The average thunderclap is 165 dB. If you’ve ever shot a shotgun, then you know what 165 dB sounds like. If you ever hear thunder, you should take cover inside, because that means lightning isn’t far away. It’s important to listen to the warnings thunder provides, as they could save you from being too close to lightning.

Avalanche — 180 dB

avalanche

An avalanche will take out anything and everything in their path as they make their way down the mountain.

©Coppee Audrey/Shutterstock.com

Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most exciting outdoor activities to do. But make sure you’re always aware of a potential avalanche that might come. An avalanche will take out anything and everything in their path as they make their way down the mountain. They’re also known for being some of the loudest forces on Earth. The typical avalanche can reach all the way up to 180 dB. At this level, hearing tissue is destroyed and unable to be repaired. Whenever there’s an avalanche warning, take it seriously and get as far away as you can.

Volcano — 194 dB

Paradise pacific island with erupting volcano

A full volcano blast can reach sound levels of 194 dB.

©KyotoXIV/iStock via Getty Images

Volcanos don’t erupt very often, but when they do, they make incredibly loud noises. A full volcano blast can reach sound levels of 194 dB. This is the loudest anything can sound to the human ears. At this point, there aren’t any more molecules left to grab to make sound in the low-pressure regions. Thankfully, scientists are able to track volcanos around the world and predict when they might blast. If a scientist warns of a potential eruption, like everything on this list, get as far away as possible. This will help keep your ears safe and your body safe.

Earthquake — 235 dB

More secure and modern buildings are being built instead of buildings that are found to be earthquake resistant. istanbul, turkey.

Earthquakes are the loudest sound on Earth and are also incredibly destructive.

©mustafaoncul/iStock via Getty Images

While the difference between 194 dB and 235 dB can’t be shown by sound, there are still vibrations that are caused by massive earthquakes that aren’t by volcanos. Strong earthquakes can reach this level of sound. Unfortunately, we don’t really know when earthquakes are going to exactly go off. We can only tell when they might go off. If there’s ever an earthquake around you, immediately get under something that can stop debris from hurting you.

Summary of Loudest Sounds Mother Nature Can Make

RankDisaster TypeDecibel Level
7Hurricane70 dB
6Tsunami143 dB
5Tornado150 dB
4Thunder165 dB
3Avalanche180 dB
2Volcano194 dB
1Earthquake235 dB

The photo featured at the top of this post is © J. C. Barros / CC BY 2.0 – License / Original


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About the Author

Andrew Dupont is a writer who loves traveling and exploring during his free time. He tries to maintain at least one trip per month, loves seeing new animals, and appreciates learning about new areas.

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