Something strange is going on in Cuba. Over the past several months, multiple U.S. officials have ranging from headaches and difficulty concentrating to hearing loss and brain damage. The officials believe they were the targets of some kind of attack, possibly by some kind of sonic weapon. Many reported hearing painful noises in their offices or bedrooms.
So who is attacking American diplomats in Cuba? And more importantly: How are they breaking the laws of physics to do it?
There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the attacks, but perhaps the most perple of all is how exactly those attacks were committed. The symptoms and victim reports suggest some kind of sonic weapon, but no weapon is known to exist. Further, the targeted nature of the attacks seems impossible. Several people fell victim to excruciating sounds in their hotel rooms while their neighbors slept peacefully.
While acoustic weapons can certainly cause pain and hearing loss, most experts agree it's impossible to focus such a weapon that precisely. Many of the reports describe the painful sounds as localized to one room or even part of one room, which is almost certainly not possible.
Moreover, many people report symptoms such as memory loss and concussions, which would require exceptionally powerful weapons to produce. Former MIT researcher Joseph Pompei that "Brain damage and concussions [from an acoustic weapon are] not possible. Somebody would have to submerge their head into a pool lined with very powerful ultrasound transducers."
So what's causing these sorts of symptoms? U.S. officials are unsure, but they don't appear to believe the Cuban government is behind it. If they did, the U.S. would most likely break off diplomatic with the island nation. Instead, the State Department is sending more diplomats to the country to replace the ones that were injured.
Hopefully this mystery is solved before anyone else is hurt.