"A Giant, Angry Swarm Of Hornets"

Jim Morrison investigates the sound of the 2010 World Cup:

A study in the South African Medical Journal released earlier this year said fans subjected to the vuvuzela swarm were exposed to a deafening peak of more than 140 decibels, equivalent to standing near a jet engine. The South African Association of Audiologists has warned they can damage hearing. ...

After the 2009 Confederations Cup soccer matches in South Africa, FIFA, the governing body for the World Cup, received complaints from multiple European broadcasters and a few coaches and players who wanted the vuvuzela banned. Fans on both sides argued heatedly on soccer blogs and web sites. Facebook pages both to ban the instruments and support them sprang up. One opponent in a South African newspaper suggested opening the World Cup with a vuvuzela bonfire.

The BBC is taking steps to filter out the godawful noise. An industrious German fan got there first.