An Irish TikToker named Milo (@the.chocolate.fish), who is hard of hearing, has been experiencing a whole new world of sounds after recently getting fitted for a new pair of hearing aids. And ever since, he’s been taking his followers on a wild ride of all their new discoveries.
Milo first got the hearing aids in early April, which is also when he started a little series called, “Things I didn’t know made noise.”
“Today has been a wild ride of oh my god everything makes noise,” Milo captioned the first post, before admitting how shocked he was that things like scratching your forehead or buttering a bagel created a noise.
“The first one is clouds,” Milo explains in the video. “I thought clouds made a cross between like, a swishy, an ocean and a wind noise, and they don’t.”
Milo admits this particular discovery was “mildly disappointing,” since he thought that would actually be pretty cool to hear. But instead, he was stunned to learn that clouds are actually silent.
“The next one actually came about because I’m autistic,” the TikToker says in the clip, before admitting that he often has trouble deciphering whether a certain turn of phrase is literal or not.
“I thought the sun made noise,” Milo shares. “But the reason I thought that is because, you know the phrase, ‘the sun is beating down on us’? I thought the sun made like a beating noise and the hotter it was, the louder the beat was.”
Turns out, that wasn’t the case — much to Milo’s surprise.
“It doesn’t, I’m just autistic,” the TikToker says, with an air of humor.
Last, but not least, comes the seashell, which Milo seems particularly confused by.
“You know the way people say that if you put a seashell up to your ear, you can hear the sea?” he asks. “I can’t. I don’t know if they don’t actually make sea noises or I’m just somehow, I don’t know, using the shell wrong.”
Since posting the video, it’s received over 1.1 million views and a ton of responses from people who loved hearing things from Milo’s perspective.
“Now I’m heartbroken that clouds don’t make noise,” one person commented.
“I am now just imagining the sun having a beatboxing battle with people and if you lose you get a sun burn,” said someone else.
“I hope you’re enjoying this and aren’t too overwhelmed!” yet another person commented.
Turns out, Milo isn’t the only one who was surprised by some of these things.
“I’ve heard from so many HH people who were surprised the sun didn’t make noise!” one person wrote.
And as for seashells trapping the sounds of the ocean? Turns out, even people with no trouble hearing weren’t totally clear on this one, and gave a wide range of responses.
According several experts who spoke with Live Science about the subject, it isn’t actually the sound of the sea that we’re hearing when we put a shell up to our ears.
“You are hearing ambient or background noise that has been increased in amplitude by the physical properties of the seashell,” said Andrew King, director of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and head of the Oxford Auditory Neuroscience Group.
Milo is certainly no stranger to #DisabilityTikTok, where he’s been posting personal content about autism, being hard of hearing and needing a wheelchair to get around for a while now.
But with this latest video series, Milo is joining the growing number of voices within the deaf community that are trying to expand public knowledge of what it truly means to be hard of hearing.
Recently, we saw this happen in the viral video of a deaf restaurant server who opened up about “disrespectful” comments she often gets while working a typical shift.
Other TikToks, like one shared by the influencer Cheyenna Clearbrook (@cheyennaclearbrookxo), have taken the time to explain commonly asked questions, like how deaf parents know when their baby is crying in another room.
Together, these videos (and so many more just like them) are shattering myths and opening eyes to what living with a hearing impairment is really like — something that many people outside of the disability community rarely gain insight into.
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