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Is It Just Me: A How I Met Your Mother Mystery

Does the American Museum of Natural History really have "magic" acoustics?During a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother, architecture geek Ted (Josh Radnor) excitedly showed his pals an area in the museum where you can hear a conversation that's taking place clear across the room. According to Steve Reichl, senior director of communications for the NYC institution, Ted's claim is sound.Though the sitcom didn't shoot on location, the real building does indeed have an indentation in the ceiling in the Hall of American Mammals that causes an echo effect about 30 feet away...

Ingela Ratledge
Ingela Ratledge

Does the American Museum of Natural History really have "magic" acoustics?
During a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother, architecture geek Ted (Josh Radnor) excitedly showed his pals an area in the museum where you can hear a conversation that's taking place clear across the room. According to Steve Reichl, senior director of communications for the NYC institution, Ted's claim is sound.
Though the sitcom didn't shoot on location, the real building does indeed have an indentation in the ceiling in the Hall of American Mammals that causes an echo effect about 30 feet away. "If you stand under it and speak, you can be heard by someone on the other side," says Reichl. "It's a very strange sensation."
The spots — near the standing grizzly bear at one end and the American bison on the other — don't come with any warning label, either, which Reichl says can catch unsuspecting tourists by surprise: "There's no identification, so they just stumble upon it," he chuckles. "You often see people hear a sudden sound and back up."
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