Researchers find noisiest places in the US

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United States Noisiest Places

Want some peace and quiet?

Then places like the great sand dunes in Colorado or the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park where the natural decibel levels are below 20 are for you.

That's about what it was before European settlers arrived. Based on a million and a half hours of acoustical monitoring, researchers drew a map of the American soundscape the darker the blue the quieter the place. The yellow to white highlights noisy spots.

You want loud? Except for pockets of noise like Los Angeles and other west coast cities the eastern half of the country is generally much noisier than the western half. Raising the average are audio hot spots like New York City's Times Square, where the decibel level can hit an ear-splitting sixty.

Scientists told a conference this month that sound levels can deeply affect both human well-being and animal behavior.

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