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Voices in the forest: a mystical phenomenon with a scientific explanation

American scientists from the Center for Hearing Loss in Washington have solved the mystery of a strange phenomenon wherein individuals, while traversing the woods, hear their name being called despite the absence of any nearby individuals.

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Dubbed “voices in the forest,” this phenomenon has often been attributed to mysticism, with many associating such occurrences with ghosts and other supernatural entities. However, Live Science reveals that there exists a wholly scientific explanation for this perplexing occurrence: auditory pareidolia.

Auditory pareidolia denotes a form of perceptual illusion wherein individuals perceive familiar voices or words in natural sounds, such as the rustling of leaves, swaying grass, or the melody of birdsong.

This phenomenon arises when the brain attempts to interpret unfamiliar sounds by matching them with familiar patterns stored within its vast database of sounds and words.

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Audiologists elucidate that this cognitive process can sometimes lead the brain to select an incorrect template, resulting in the erroneous perception of non-existent voices.

“Think of your brain as having this big database of patterns. All the words that you know, and you’ve ever heard in your life are in there,” Neil Bauman, an audiologist and CEO of the Center for Hearing Loss Help based in Washington, told Live Science.

“It chooses what it thinks is the best pattern. That best pattern may not be right at all. In fact, it could be way out.”

Experts note that in most cases, auditory pareidolia is not a cause for concern. However, if a person begins to hear voices or other sounds in complete silence, this may be a sign of a more serious illness and requires referral to a specialist.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood.

He is not afraid to challenge the official narratives and expose the cover-ups and lies that keep us in the dark. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.

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