Earth emits an ear-piercing and annoying snore that could heard by any aliens who might be listening, astronomers have discovered.
The sound is truly awful, a new recording from space reveals, and may help explain why Earth remains an unpopular tourist attraction, despite the plethora of habitable solar systems in our galaxy and near certainty of multitudes of intelligent alien life.
Scientists have known about the Earth's sleep apnea since the 1970s. It is acerbated by the Earth's tendency to stay up later than it ought to, particularly when there's something really good on HBO.
When the Earth actually does fall asleep, the rest is fitful and marked by restless peninsula syndrome and, scientists now know, by a very irritating tendency to snore. This bizarre auditory disturbance seems to be related to the phenomenon that generates the colorful aurora, or Northern Lights.
Earth's snores are blocked by the ionosphere, a charged layer atop our atmosphere, so they do not reach Earth.
That's good, because the out-of-this-world dinosaur-worthy mega-snores are 10,000 times stronger than even the strongest military signal, the researchers said, and they would overwhelm all television signals on the planet, causing a complete breakdown in civilization as we know it by severing the connection between approximately 4 billion television addicts and the umbilical 'feed' from their local government mind-control center.
There is a secondary noise, also audible from space, that Earth frequently makes, especially after a particularly heavy meal of bean burritos. Scientists tend to avoid mentioning it in polite company, but it has also shown up on these outer space recordings.
"We can now determine exactly where that foul secondary emission is coming from," one of the scientists said, but refused to elaborate, possibly to avoid lawsuits from the geographic region in question being thus identified.
Rumours suggest, however, that it might be New Jersey.
Our planet has also been known to hum, a mysterious low-frequency sound thought to be caused by the churning ocean or the roiling atmosphere. While this sound would be less annoying to listening aliens, it can definitely get on your nerves when you're trying to read.