If you’ve been lucky enough to visit the Golden Gate Bridge in person you know it somehow exceeds all expectations. San Francisco’s iconic landmark is truly a stunning sight, whether you’re seeing it from afar, driving over it, or walking all of it’s 1.7 miles. At 746 feet tall, it’s like a gentle orange giant standing guard over the bay while inviting guests into the city. And now, as if all of that wasn’t impressive enough, it might also be the world’s largest instrument. New handrails designed to make the bridge more aerodynamic also make it “sing” during high winds.
But whether it’s making beautiful music or creepy noises is in the ear of the listener.
The Golden Gate Bridge now makes music. You can hear this whistle all over the city pic.twitter.com/W1V9Dw4sXb— Raemond (@RaemondBW) June 6, 2020
The Golden Gate Bridge recently received an upgrade to help with wind resistance. However, as ABC 7 News in San Francisco reports, the new retrofitted handrails with slats also produce a loud, distinct noise, which the city and its surrounding neighbors became familiar with on Friday when wind gusts reached between 45 and 60 mph. As air passes more freely over the bridge it creates a loud humming noise that can be heard for miles.
Some find the bridge’s new “song” to be angelic. That’s an apt description, since it does have an ethereal, almost otherworldly feel. But that’s exactly why others are freaked out by it. This could also be a dirge for the gods…. or an ominous sign of enemies approaching in a sci-fi movie.
Proximity might have a lot to do with how individual listeners feel about this “music.” The closer you get the more intense it is.
Anthony J.:— Mark Krueger (@markkrueg) June 6, 2020
“Engineers designed new sides for the sidewalk to help with wind resistance but didn’t take into account the EXTREME sound it creates when wind passes through it. The bridge sings crazy songs now it’s so trippy. It hurts the ears and unbearable it’s that loud.” pic.twitter.com/GWdVia1GNS
While this might seem like an unexpected consequence of the work, officials say they knew this would happen during high winds. Cool! Maybe next time just give people a head’s up?
The Golden Gate Bridge is genuinely majestic, but no one ever expected it to sing.
Header Image: Nerdist