Earworms

The Earworm. We've all been preyed upon by that insidious neural parasite, which burrows deep into the psyche of the human mind. They breed off of songs like "Call Me Maybe," "Who Let the Dogs Out?" and, ironically enough, "Can't Get You Out of My Head."

"Earworm" is the term that's used for a song that gets ingrained in the mind, constantly playing the same 8-30 second part over and over again, slowly driving a person insane. Scientists are not 100 per cent sure what causes this phenomenon because it happens involuntarily, and is therefore nearly impossible to induce in a laboratory setting.

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Although there are some Starfleet Officers who have had firsthand experience with earworms...

What we do know however, is that songs with very little pitch variation and simple rhythms are more likely to become earworms. This makes sense since such songs are easy to imitate and therefore easier to sing, because essentially, when you have a song stuck in your head, your brain is singing it. The easier a song is to sing, the more likely your brain will latch on to it and sing it over and over again. Also songs with bits that can essentially be looped infinitely are also more likely to get stuck in your head. Hence the song below, which exhibits all the qualities mentioned above, is one of the worst earworms known to man.

I promise you that if you scroll down and play this song, it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

Seriously don't click it.

I warned you...

So let me guess, like any normal person who is suddenly compelled to do something simply because they are told not to, you disregarded my warnings and clicked on the video. Now you have "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" by Eiffel 65 stuck in your head.

Before you go damning me and my kin to an eternity of Hell listening to nothing but Eiffel 65 and Aqua, permit me to divulge a little secret for dealing with earworms. Scientists have discovered that doing a task that is moderately difficult which involves language, such as a crossword puzzle or word search, can be an effective way of pushing obnoxious songs out of your head. I've actually tried it out and I was surprised to find it really does help. Earworms have finally met their match.