TODAY   |  November 23, 2012

Quietest place on earth gives sailor peace

A 99.99 percent sound-absorbent anti-echo chamber in Minnesota, officially named the quietest place on earth by Guinness, can be too much for most, but for one sailor fresh from nine months below the deck of the noisy USS Abraham Lincoln, it provides a quiet place to gather his thoughts. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> place so silent you can hear your heart beating and lungs filling with air. may sound like science fiction but it's actually a place here on earth recognized by the folks on guinness as the quietest place on earth. nbc's kerry sanders took a look inside.

>> reporter: in the kay office our world where there's seemingly no escape from noise, petty officer third class nick hare wanted complete silence. for the last nine months he's bunked feet below the deck of the " uss abraham lincoln ."

>> you know, it's loud and noisy, like living on a roller coaster.

>> reporter: at orfield labs in minneapolis in a chamber the guinness book of world records says is the quiet place on earth, where you can literally hear a pin drop, this sailor asked for an escape.

>> okay. settled in. it's the world's quietest room. cool.

>> reporter: i endured the chamber for just five minutes. there's like this intense pressure, like you're in a car driving up a mountain and keep trying to swallow and yawn to equalize the pressure, and i'm pretty sure what i hear is the blood flowing in my neck.

>> the ear is both a loudspeaker and microphone and when it's deprived of sound it creates its own.

>> reporter: why does this chamber to exist? to test product sound levels, like hospital equipment, vacuum cleaners or just this once for a sailor on overload.

>> it's becoming a little disorienting, it's interesting.

>> i'll bet after ten minutes, nick might think he has now had that experience, and he's ready to move on.

>> reporter: nick hare lasted more than an hour. how are you?

>> i'm okay.

>> reporter: let's see if you can actually stand up.

>> okay.

>> reporter: how do you feel?

>> i feel wobbly.

>> reporter: a sailor getting his sea legs .

>> do you hear the planes landing?

>> not right now. i can't do it right now. it's really interesting.

>> reporter: it is erased.

>> i believe so.

>> reporter: and finally that elusive peace and quiet. kerry sanders , nbc news, minneapol minneapolis.