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This programme contains some strong language.
Oh! Too kind.
Hello, and welcome to QI.
Tonight's show is like a nightmare neighbour, nosey and noisy.
Please make some noise
for someone with a nose for the truth, Aisling Bea.
A nose for a bargain, Ross Noble.
And a nose for a good story,
it's Slipknot frontman, it's Corey Taylor.
And a nose for trouble, Alan Davies.
And they've all brought along their favourite noises.
So Aisling goes...
BABY GIGGLES Ah!
-Have you got children, Aisling?
You'll go off that noise, I'm just saying!
It's the loveliest noise. There's nothing nicer than the sound of a giggling baby,
other than at night-time, if you don't know where it is.
Yeah, maybe parenting's not for you.
CHILD'S VOICE: I hate rakes!
-I am Mola Ram!
-Who are those annoying children?
-Those are my children!
They... And obviously, everyone says, you know,
children laughing is the best thing ever.
-I think even better than that is your own children acting out scenes from Indiana Jones.
So my little one can't say esses, so instead of saying, "I hate snakes,"
she says, "I hate rakes."
-So listen again.
-I hate rakes.
And that was the oldest one going, "I am Mola Ram!"
Right. Let's have a listen, Corey goes...
HEAVY METAL MUSIC
-I love One Direction!
Is that your own track?
-Don't tell me, let me guess.
-Was that Psychosocial?
That's the only one I know.
-This one is Psychosocial.
-That Psychosocial, yeah.
I'm the cute one.
Him. No. Him!
We haven't even got on the questions yet. Alan goes...
-A favourite sound, or just familiar?
And let's start with a noisy question.
I want to hear the loudest thing anyone's ever shouted.
-It's got to be something at their kids.
-OK, yes. In fact, you're in the right...
SHUT THE FUCK UP!
So if you could do that in a more BBC Two way...
I'll do my best. Sshhhhhh!
Is it yodelling?
No, but yodelling is my Achilles heel.
I could be on my deathbed, full of depression,
and somebody yodelled, I would laugh. I just...
Is it a human doing it?
It is a human doing, this. It is, but he's in the right area.
It is a word for shush, it is the loudest word that's ever been shouted.
It's in the Guinness world records.
-It's got to be something like quiet.
-It is quiet. Absolutely right. It's the loudest word ever spoken.
There's a photo of it being done.
Well, this is her. She's a Belfast primary school teacher.
She's called Anneliese Flanagan. I think she mostly uses
her rather impressive voice on the hockey pitch.
But in 1994 she entered a shouting competition and her world record has
remained unbroken for 22 years.
She logged 121 decibels, which is exactly the same as a chainsaw.
That's quite loud. Yeah. Our shows top out at, like, 109.
-And those are quite loud.
-So 121 is stupid!
Louder than Slipknot, that's a good title.
-Do not make me get louder than Slipknot!
It is good to know that if you're at a slipknot gig and there is
a Northern Irish primary school teacher...
-Turn it down, lads.
She's 32 times as loud as a vacuum cleaner.
Which is a sort of weird thing to know about yourself.
And she can shout twice as loud as the human pain threshold.
Now, is anybody here a loud burper?
That's the other thing that there is a record for.
No, I'd need some fizzy pop.
That's it. I sound like a frog with asthma.
That is something I never thought I would see.
If you start lighting your farts...!
I see you've missed one of the shows!
Can you imagine if this is just Ross Noble's dream, Slipknot are on QI,
Sandi gets out, she's hosting now.
She burps and then she lights her fart.
-Is this actually happening?
Well, the world's two loudest burpers,
and I like that has gone down to two, are currently locked in a duel...
The record was set by a man from Essex, surprisingly.
He is there on the right. That's Paul Hunn, 109.9 decibels.
-That was in February.
Immediately it was broken by Neville Sharp, who comes from a town I want to go to in Australia
-Have you been to Humptydoo?
Yes. I've been to Humptydoo, yeah.
-Yeah, and it had that guy on the telly and they were going,
"We've got the loudest burper..."
And he was... You know, slow news day!
And they went, "Do one for us now."
But, like me, he needs to build up to it,
and he couldn't perform!
-Everyone was going, "Oh, not sure if you are any good at it."
Humptydoo though, it's the most Australian town I have never heard of in my life.
Their biggest tourist attraction is a statue of a boxing crocodile.
And they are famous for the Humptydoo virus, it's a virus for kangaroos,
and it's named after Humptydoo.
So anyway, Neville Sharp beat...
This is the exciting battle between the two burpers.
And the day after, Paul, from Essex, broke back.
He broke back with 117.9.
-Well, he's got that wrong. That's the other end!
He made a 117.9 decibel belch,
which is apparently louder than a Deep Purple concert in 1972,
which broke the record for the world's loudest band.
And left the audience members unconscious.
-They hold the Guinness world record.
It was in the books, yeah.
So that became the goal for everybody.
And then Motorhead broke that.
And now, apparently, a man's throat has done the same.
What the hell am I doing?
Would they not let you...
Because all you've got to do is just turn it up.
You would think.
But you would be mistook.
-Oh, why? I don't know.
-I just thought it was fun to say that to him.
Anybody able to crack their finger knuckles?
That's the other thing people can do very loudly.
-Were you hit by a car this afternoon?
-Any other parts of you that you can make noises with?
None for BBC Two!
The loudest crack of finger knuckles is 83.2 decibels,
so that's as loud as a food blender.
Can you do it? I can't do it at all.
I just did a little one, and now it will be a couple of days.
So that's the extraordinary thing, and we can just show you.
This is an actual photograph. These are knuckles,
not amniotic fluid. LOUD CRACK
Isn't that incredible?
And what it is, it's the bubbles of gas popping out of the fluid between
your joints. You can't crack twice in succession,
because you need time to build the gas back up again.
But how funny would that be if you were, like, an ultrasound person
and you just loaded that into the machine...
The parents came and went, let's just have a look... ARGH!
And then just run out of the room.
Now, I have some things for you. What can you do with these?
I'm going to hand those out to you there.
-These are, like, those smear test things?!
Oh, a duck. To get ducks.
It is a kind of whistle.
But it's not to be played with the mouth.
Oh! It's to be played with your nose.
THEY ALL WHISTLE
I'm guessing, is this for like paramedics who, if somebody,
they're not sure if they're breathing or not, you just put that on their...
They're still alive.
It's called a nose flute.
And the first patent for this was the Nasalette in 1892,
and the theory was it left your hands...
There it is. ..Your hands free to play other instruments.
But this one doesn't. So I've got some knicker elastic.
If you put that round your face and the thing.
-Oh, can we all be in Slipknot now?
Just breathe through your nose.
CACOPHONY OF WHISTLES
It has the look of a woman trying to unwrap toffee with her bottom.
Don't give them back!
So, the nose flutes,
they have been around the world long before this patented existed.
They were played in Southeast Asia,
in the Pacific Islands, in the Congo.
In Fiji, couples used to use them to seduce each other.
And apparently it was traditional to plug one nostril with tobacco
and then play do the other nostril, and you get a hit of nicotine at the same time.
A fantastic photograph in the 1909 copy of Tatler,
which is a man in India playing the nose flute and the bagpipes simultaneously.
He is described by one musicologist as a peak of woodwind virtuosity.
Yours is a double ended nose picker that you've got there, Alan.
This was patented in 1998, and oddly,
no-one has yet to manufacture them for general sale.
So how many...
They did a study of nose picking in 2000...
-Ever used something other than your own finger?
They did a study in 2001.
They've got no hooking motion. You need a hooking motion.
-To be able to pull?
-I've got nothing there.
What I have noticed is there are some bogeys on there from a previous owner.
There is a clean one.
I'll just go on the Tube like that.
Sit like that.
"I'm just going to hospital."
"How many stops...?"
That is the most feeble clap!
There's half of you going, "I'm not clapping that."
Can I just borrow two?
I've got one that's more flaccid than the other.
If you clap Ross's finger joke, I will be pissed off!
I'm just thinking, for the lazy Slipknot fan.
AUDIENCE CLAP AND CHEER
That's for the lazy Slipknot fan too. You can always...
There you go.
So only 80% of teenagers use their fingers to pick their noses,
what do the rest use?
-The end of a pencil?
Pencils is one. Come on, we've all done it.
A biro. A friend's finger?
-A cotton bud?
-No, it's nothing as nice as that.
What if it winds up there?
What was weird was 11% do it for cosmetic reasons, 11% for pleasure...
-Are you talking about the actual...
Surely a Hoover would work better than tweezers.
Who'd put a Hoover up your nose?!
It's an irresponsible remark!
I'm sorry for what I said earlier about using a Hoover.
Please, teenagers, do not stick a Hoover to your nose.
Here's a question that everyone is gagging to know the answer to...
What noise does a frog on helium make?
-"Oh, I love you, Miss Piggy."
You've got a frog in your throat!
Corey, if you want a klaxon, I reckon if you did a high-pitched ribbit,
-I reckon that would get one.
-Try and say ribbit.
I might need a tissue.
It's rare you see so much pleasure at failure.
-It's so good.
-I reckon nobody knows.
Because as soon as you fill them with helium, that expands...
and they're off.
Hands like that.
In 1993, scientists made three different species of frog inhale helium.
Clearly, party's not gone that well, nobody's turned up...
Scientists with poor sexual skills, I'm going to guess.
-We've finished, but we can't leave until five!
Anything you always wanted to do?
And it has no effect on frogs whatsoever.
And the reason is that frogs don't use the resonance of the air
inside the vocal tract to vocalise the way we do.
They seem to create resonance by using their skin instead.
And that is not affected by helium.
OK. So, having that piece of information in your heads,
what do you think would happen if you asked a dinosaur
to suck on a party balloon?
I think he'd be like, "I died thousands of years ago.
"This is a dream."
It would sound like...
-I died thousands of years ago.
This is a dream.
Actually, Corey, you would be right.
Because you can't try it out on dinosaurs,
so in 2015 the same experiment was carried out on a Chinese alligator,
which is as close as they could get, by Austrian scientists.
And it turns out pumping helium into the tank of a Chinese alligator
affects her voice as it does ours.
So let's have a listen to before, and then straightaway,
the after with the helium.
-Does it make it lower?
Well, the thing is, it just changes the timbre.
What helium doesn't do, people think it makes your voice higher.
It doesn't. Every voice, as you well know, is a mixed frequency.
So all it does, is it causes some of those frequencies in humans,
the higher ones, to be amplified.
So we just hear them more.
It doesn't actually make your voice any higher.
Apparently, because it's true of alligators,
it must be true of dinosaurs because of the alligator being a descendant.
That'll be a really bad, like, next Jurassic Park.
-Like, the third one.
Now I'm going to give you the horn.
There's one each for you two.
And I have here...
And I want to know, what noise is that for?
Is this going to be some sort of Latvian arse trumpet or something?
And two points to Ross!
Someone in the audience had an offer.
Does anybody know?
It is for a heartbeat, what kind of heartbeat?
It is still used.
It is for the foetal heartbeat.
It is called a Pinard horn, and to this day
it is still used by midwives
to listen for the foetal heartbeat.
It was invented in 1895 by a French obstetrician called Adolf Pinard.
And what is so fantastic is that they haven't improved on it.
It's still used today.
You can buy them on any website of foetal heartbeat...
No, it's too late. He's dead.
It's inspired by the original stethoscope.
Does anybody know why the original stethoscope was invented?
For hearing things.
Is it like an early Walkman,
and you'd attach it to a chamber orchestra?
And they'd run behind you... You'd have in on like that...
"This is ridiculous.
"I've been running. Oh, hang on."
Was it so you could get through lady's garments, so they didn't have to disrobe?
It is to do with embarrassment.
Dr Rene Laennec, he had to listen to women's chests.
But he didn't want to put his ear too close.
-He was embarrassed.
-Too awkward for everyone.
Too awkward, so 1816, he invented the stethoscope.
Conversation tubes, introduced in the 1600s,
it was the same sort of awkwardness.
A Puritan couple, so they could have a conversation,
they could talk through a tube.
Those were then used as the very first commercial hearing aids, about 1800.
Have a look at that. These ones are actually...
This will work, will it?
-If you speak...
What's wrong with you?!
Speak in it to yourself, then you can hear most clearly.
I can just do that.
Hello, Ross. "Hello."
Hello. Germany calling.
The one on the picture, we actually have here.
-The one in the picture.
I can't look quite as cheerful.
I can hear the sea.
Is that what you're supposed to...
You know how people worry about what earrings to wear, those, I think,
are working for you.
You look like Mickey Mouse and Prince Charles had a child.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
This is extraordinary. This one is really extraordinary.
You put that bit in your ear.
I wonder will this, like, amplify between that and the...?
Oh, no way!
Just to get on the show again.
You must be joking!
This one is really extraordinary.
It's been lent to us by Dr Laurie Slater,
who's a GP who collects medical oddities.
It is a silver ear trumpet.
It was made in 1880,
and it is possible it is actually Queen Victoria's hearing aid.
It is possible.
There is no direct evidence of this, but they are very rare. And this one is unique,
so it is possible this is what Queen Victoria used to...
The stories that could tell.
When you say it's possible, is that like,
did like an ear wax expert lick it and go...
I think if you are an ear wax specialist,
you probably don't lick.
Just saying. I don't really know.
Right, speaking of ears.
I'm going to play you two recordings, OK?
One is of hot water being poured into a bowl.
And one is of cold water being poured into a bowl.
I want you to tell me which is which.
Here is the first one.
And here is the second one.
-Sorry, I need a wee!
-What do we think the first one is? Hot or cold?
Yes, I'll go hot. I thought it was the first one.
It sounded like emptying a kettle.
The second one sounded like filling a kettle.
What is this mocking me?!
Since Stephen left, they've just turned.
"No-one's taking the piss out of that idiot. It's up to us."
The second one sounded kind of crisp and cold.
-I wanted a drink.
-Let's have one more listen.
This is the first one. Have a listen.
And the second one...
Can we just bear in mind, this is QI,
so I've got a feeling that it might be somebody
pouring soup onto a horse.
I promise you, it's hot and cold water.
Hands up who thinks the first one is hot.
And hands up who thinks the first one is cold.
-Oh, that's weird.
-So, it is about the right percentage.
96% correctly, usually, identify the first one as hot.
They do make different noises,
because hot water is, kind of, slightly less sticky,
is the thing of it, molecules in it have more energy from the heat,
and so when hot water hits a hard surface,
it breaks up into smaller particles
and makes a higher pitched splashing noise than cold water.
So... But now you'll know.
I'll be like, that was hot!
Next time you pour boiling water on yourself, you'll be like,
"Is it hot... Oh, wait, the sound of it... Yes, I am, I'm burning."
And now for the stuff that nobody knows.
It's General Ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers, please.
Which of these weighs the same as a blue whale's heart?
-'I am Mola Ram.'
-I'm going to say the Beetle.
I have heard of the blue whale.
People have supplied me with many blue whale facts over the years.
One of the blue whale facts that I've been told was that it...
The heart is about the size of a Mini...
Well, here's the extraordinary thing.
Nobody checked. Everybody thought it was the same size,
and exactly the same weight as a Beetle,
and when they checked, it turns out that, in fact,
it weighs about the same as a male gorilla.
It's about 28-and-a-half stone.
But a lot lighter than a Beetle.
It is about 22% of what a Beetle would weigh.
There he is. Isn't it extraordinary?
Are they doing a transplant?
They're going to put a Beetle in!
It starts in all weathers.
Right, fingers on buzzers.
If I toot my horn and flash my lamps at exactly the same time,
what is the first thing that you will notice?
-'I am Mola Ram!'
Oh, Ross, you're quick on the buzzer today.
You've taken up dogging?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Every girl needs a hobby.
Is it to do with how far away things are?
-So if the car's a really long way away,
the light will get to you before the sound of the horn does?
Like a thunderstorm principle?
Yes. The brain has to process both.
It's not enough for it to reach you.
The brain has got to process it.
It processes sound faster than it processes light.
So, if you're close enough, then you'll hear the horn first.
But as you get further away from the source, so for example,
a plane in the sky,
the difference between when the sound reaches you and when the light
reaches your increases. Light travels faster than sound, and therefore...
I wonder if that is an evolutionary thing,
because things that are dangerous to humans make noises in the dark.
-So we prioritised the ears.
I mean, our hearing is extraordinary
because it can detect frequencies from 20 hertz to over 20,000.
Whereas the eye, the range is much, much smaller.
Not after your concerts, obviously.
-Ears are great, aren't they, Sandi?
I think that's a message for people back home today.
Ears, they're great.
This is brought to you by the Ear Advisory Board.
Ears, don't knock 'em till you've tried 'em.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Which vitamin can stop you getting a runny nose?
Don't let Ross win again! HEAVY METAL MUSIC
People used to believe that vitamin C was the thing
if you were trying to prevent colds, but it does nothing at all.
There's hardly any evidence it even alleviates the symptoms.
The one you want is the sunshine vitamin.
That does prevent people getting colds in the first place,
and reduces the incidence of flu.
Most people who take vitamins shouldn't bother,
is the absolute truth of it.
So, one vitamin C tablet contains
ten times the recommended daily allowance of the vitamin,
and you just don't really need it.
You just wee it away.
You just wee it away. So, if you put a duck in an echo chamber, what...
How are you going to play? What are you likely to hear?
HEAVY METAL MUSIC
It will become pregnant.
I like how your mind works.
It's possible I like everything about you, Corey.
But no, it's not that.
I know this only because Lee Mack has a show called
Duck Quacks Don't Echo.
And what's the answer?
Ducks' quacks don't echo.
Do you know what, you're right, Lee Mack does have that show.
And I thought that was a thing.
We'll be finding out next that some mothers DON'T have 'em!
So, that isn't right, because ducks' quacks do echo,
but in fact, most ducks don't quack at all.
-This show, man!
-Oh, my God.
It's mainly just female mallards that make the quacking noise.
What I like, is that other species,
they whistle, they coo and they yodel.
Yes, they yodel.
And some ducks are completely silent.
They've nothing to say. Nothing.
-Just complete silence.
-What does a duck yodelling sound like?
You can actually have a look on various popular websites
and see ducks yodelling.
Some of the worst Hank Williams tribute acts you'll ever see.
So, that brings us to the matter of the scores.
In last place with minus 9 points, it's Corey.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In third place, with minus 4, it's Ross.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And in second place, with minus 2, it's Aisling.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And our runaway winner, with eight points, it's Alan!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
My thanks to Corey, Ross, Aisling and Alan for their interesting noises.
And the last word on the subject
goes to American comedian Stephen Wright.
"I didn't get a toy train like the other kids.
"I got a toy subway instead.
"You couldn't see anything, but every now and then,
"you'd hear this rumbling noise go by."