The Hoh Rain Forest is one of the largest temperate rain forests in the United States. Situated within the Olympic National Park in western Washington State, the Hoh is protected from commercial logging and is a haven for old-growth Sitka spruce, western hemlock, coast Douglas fir, big-leaf maples and black cottonwoods. The isolated region is far from main roads and development, making the Hoh one of the quietest places in North America.
This virtual reality Op-Doc provides an immersive experience into the Hoh Rain Forest, told from the perspective of the acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton. For the past 35 years, Mr. Hempton has been documenting the sounds of the Hoh and its many species, including Pacific tree frogs, Roosevelt elk, northern spotted owls, the red-breasted nuthatch and Pacific wrens. He believes silence is on the verge of extinction. Planes often fly over the Hoh en route to Seattle, emitting a dull roar that punctures the silence of the landscape. The Hoh is but one of many remote corners of the world being affected by noise pollution.