Mystery of the Bristol Hum revealed

Some people in Bristol say they are plagued by a mysterious low-level hum that no-one, until now, could trace.

Over the past fortnight Bristolians have been reporting their problems with the “hum” to the local newspaper and on social media. It has been driving them to distraction, they say, and no-one can tell where on earth it’s coming from.

It’s not the first time the hum has kept Bristol awake. In the 1970s hundreds of the city’s residents complained to the council that a strange noise was audible at night. Most of the experts drafted in put it down to factory noise, electricity pylons or tinnitus – while some of the more imaginative suggestions included the sound from flying saucers hovering over the city or secret military activity. Eventually, it stopped as abruptly as it began, but not before it had spawned reports of equally unidentified hums in other towns across Britain.

Then, this week, French scientists announced that they had solved the conundrum. It was, they said, a result of all the local parking meters having been fitted with a wrong part. “We have made a big step in explaining this mysterious signal and where it is coming from and what is the mechanism,” said Fabrice Ardhuin of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. The council immediately fixed the problem and issued an apology. It was not long until people started to submit compensation claims. One Bristol University Student, who wished to remain anonymous, is suing for 2months worth of rent stating, “it was constant high pitched torture, like a barely audible vacuum cleaner 24/7”. His claim is likely to be accepted.