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Brits have voted the sound of a baby laughing amongst our favourite sounds, as a study of the nation’s best-loved sounds found that although babies push ahead on cuteness, Brits love nothing more than the noise of the sea – which topped the list of fifty.
The runner-up was the sound of rain lashing against the windows – something Brits have had plenty of chance to enjoy over the recent wash-out summer.
The study of 2,000 people also found that the sound of fireworks and bacon sizzling are a blessing on the ears.
The research, which was commissioned by Drayton Manor Theme Park, saw Brits vote treading on snow or crunchy leaves sit high in the list, while the glug of wine being poured is irresistible to many.
The cheerful screams of people on a rollercoaster, popping bubble wrap or piercing the foil on a new jar of coffee are also some of the nation’s best loved sounds.
The research also unveiled the most detested sounds;
- The biggest torture for our ears is the sound of nails on a chalkboard, followed closely by people being sick or the constant shrill of a car alarm;
- The sound of a dentist’s drill alone is enough to inspire fear in most people;
- A dripping tap or squeaky shoe is bound to drive people mad, while no mercy is shown to anyone trying to learn the violin.
An overwhelming three quarters of people think sound is crucial in building a sense of atmosphere or excitement.
So much so that one in eight have queued for a rollercoaster and lost their nerve after hearing the screams of fellow riders.
Helen Pawley, General Manager at Drayton Manor, said:
”We can often get so buried in our day-to-day lives that we don’t appreciate the little things in life, so it’s good to see that there are certain sounds we all enjoy.
”Many of the most popular noises aren’t just nice sounds in themselves, but evoke memories of good times or the anticipation of something good to come.
”Everyone has a memory of a day out or trip to the seaside which can be conjured up by certain sounds, while laughter, whether in adults or children clearly is infectious and good to see in the top ten.
”The things we hear build atmosphere and emotion as strongly as any other sense, and that shared sense of excitement that comes from a football match, theme park or stadium is a big part of any memorable experience.”
TOP 50 MOST LOVED SOUNDS
1. Waves against rocks
2. Rain against the windows
3. Treading on snow
4. Baby laughing
5. Birds chirping
6. Crackling open fire
7. People laughing
8. Leaves crunching beneath your feet
9. Cat purring
10. Church bells in the distance
12. Wind passing through leaves of a tree
13. Piano playing
14. Owl hooting
15. Bacon sizzling
16. Sound of the sea in a conch shell
17. Pouring wine
18. Pebbles thrown into water
20. Choir singing
21. Steam train whistle
22. Popping a cork
23. Electric guitar
24. Bubble wrap popping
25. Whale calling
26. Fizzy drink poured on ice
27. People laughing/screaming on rollercoasters
28. Roar of a Ferrari engine
29. Cricket bat hitting a cricket ball
30. Bumblebee buzzing
31. Piercing foil on a new jar of coffee
32. Popping popcorn
34. Seagulls calling
36. Fairground music
37. Formula one car engine
38. Arcade/amusement games
39. Crunch of biting an apple
40. Lawn mowers in the summer
41. Clock ticking
42. Opening of a fizzy can
43. Cockerel calling
44. Airplane taking off
45. Underground train approaching
46. Kettle boiling
47. Crowds chanting at a football match
48. Clatter of coins
49. Tea spoon clinking
TOP 20 MOST HATED SOUNDS
1. Nails on a chalk board
2. Someone being sick
3. Car alarm
4. A dentist’s drill
5. Someone spitting
6. A yapping dog
7. Screaming baby/children
8. Someone talking with their mouth full
9. Someone grinding their teeth
10. Someone’s knife grinding on a plate
11. Dripping tap
12. A chair scraping on the floor
13. Car horns in traffic
14. Screeching brakes
15. Someone learning the violin
16. Mobile ring tones
17. People chewing gum
18. A squeaky door
19. An unanswered phone
20. Someone blowing their nose