It’s the word that’s everywhere you look. It’s on all the TV news networks, it’s a trending topic on Twitter, and it’s all over the net. It’s the current adjective du jour for comedians and snarky journalists. There’s even an app for it.
Face it: Vuvuzela is the new black! It’s everywhere!
So if you have no idea what a vuvuzela is, if you’re left out of the in crowd and feeling embarrassingly uncool… ForeverGeek is here for you.
Let me walk you through it.
Wikipedia defines the vuvuzela as a “stadium horn,” a meter-long, bugle-type instrument made of plastic that’s commonly blown by fans at football games in South Africa. And with the World Cup taking place in South Africa as we speak, this is naturally the reason this instrument has become so suddenly popular. Those South Africans are mighty passionate about their “national instrument.” But why is something that amounts to little more than a sporting event souvenir such a big deal?
Well, the thing is loud. Crazy loud. We’re talking eardrum-busting, “permanent hearing damage” kind of loud. So loud, there’s talk of banning them from the World Cup. And fans tuning into World Cup coverage on TV from all over the globe are getting their first taste of the vuvuzela and its signature sound, which Wikipedia says has been measured as high as 127 decibels.
To give you an idea of how loud that is, a standard vacuum cleaner runs at 80 dB, most trains max out at 105 dB, and the most powerful Harley Davidson on the market has been measured at 117 dB at its highest RPM. Ear pain is known to start at 120 dB, and your ear drum will instantly break at 160 dB.
So why has pop culture suddenly become so obsessed with an instrument that can damage one’s ears? Well obviously, it’s a funny-sounding word. I mean, duh. Say it out loud if you don’t believe me! Or as that modern maven of all things social media, Felicia Day, so perfectly put it a few days ago:
“I keep seeing tweets about vuvezelas or something like that. Is that some new lady product?”