The quietest place in the contiguous US is only 1 square inch in size

Like light pollution, noise pollution is an issue that is steadily making our wild spaces less wild. And just like preserving darkness in nature, humans need to be preserving silence in it as well.

This idea has become Gordon Hempton’s personal quest. A sound tracker who has traveled the globe recording vanishing sounds, in 2005 he came across the quietest place in the mainland United States. It’s only one square inch (he designates it with a red stone), but Hempton’s mission is to keep it as quiet as possible.

Located in the Hoh Rainforest within Washington’s Olympic National Park, Hempton brings viewers to this cherished one square inch of forest. “When a noise intrusion occurs, I locate the noise maker, send them a letter, and ask for compliance.”

Hempton founded the One Square Inch of Silence Foundation to help preserve silence and ask legislators to designate Olympic National Park as the world’s first quiet park off-limits to aircraft.

As Hempton says, “This matter is urgent. Within 10 years it’s likely that there will be no quiet places left, unless we take action.”

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!