Researchers at Newcastle University
wanted to learn more about why our brains make us recoil from unpleasant sounds
like nails on a chalkboard or screaming. So they looked at the brains of a group of volunteers (who no doubt regretted their decision after this test) and played them a series of sounds to find where the recoil response was coming from. They also asked people to rate the sounds they heard from most to least pleasant, leaving them with a (slightly less than definitive because of its small sample size) list of the very worst sounds on the planet.
At the top? The sound of a knife scraping a bottle
. You can get a look at the rest of the list after the jump.