The eighth season finale of The Simpsons, “The Secret War of Lisa Simpson,” is a memorable one, or at least, it has a particularly memorable scene. Bart’s class goes on a field trip to the Springfield Police Department, and there, he discovers a room filled with megaphones. His curiosity and mischievous nature, as they often do, get the best of him, so he decides to line up a bunch of the megaphones, turn them all on, and see what happens.
In the show, the sound, having been amplified multiple times, creates a sound wave that shatters all of the windows in town. That’s obviously an artistic liberty taken for the sake of the show, but what would actually happen? That’s what The Backyard Scientist wanted to learn, so he set out to recreate the experiment in a recent video.
He ordered ten megaphones and lined them up on a long table at a baseball field. Using a device that measures the volume of sounds, he determined that a single megaphone, as heard from the distance between home plate and the edge of the infield, is between 75 and 80 decibels. After lining all the megaphones up and dealing with all the feedback that process is bound to create, and then talking into the first megaphone, the decibel level didn’t actually change that much, if at all.
That makes total sense: Since the megaphones are only capable of producing sounds at a certain max volume, the audio will only get more compressed as it goes from megaphone to megaphone, but not any louder. What was interesting is that after that experiment, he decided to form a circle with the megaphones, and the resulting feedback loop was super loud, measuring at 120 decibels, which is about the volume of a loud concert.
Watch the experiment for yourself above, watch the original The Simpsons scene below, and let us know in the comments what other Simpsons moments you’d be interested to see recreated in real life.
Featured image: Fox