Indeed it is in documents of the legendary Borland Turbo C++. For nostalgy, I digged out the disks. Here's the aforementioned help entry in its whole (don't worry about copyrights, isn't TC under GPL now? I think saw a story about it on slashdot.):


  ________________
  |sound, nosound|                     
  ________________

Declaration:

  • void sound(unsigned frequency);
  • void nosound(void);

Remarks:

  • sound turns on the PC's speaker at a given frequency.
  • nosound turns the speaker off after it has been turned on by a call to sound.
frequency specifies the frequency of the sound in hertz (cycles per second).

Return Value: None

Portability:

 + DOS + UNIX + ANSI C + C++ Only +
 | Yes |      |        |          |
 +-----+------+--------+----------+

See Also:

Example (for both functions):

/* Emits a 7-Hz tone for 10 seconds.

      True story: 7 Hz is the resonant
      frequency of a chicken's skull cavity.
      This was determined empirically in
      Australia, where a new factory
      generating 7-Hz tones was located too
      close to a chicken ranch: When the
      factory started up, all the chickens
      died.

      Your PC may not be able to emit a 7-Hz tone. */

 #include 

 int main(void)
 {
    sound(7);
    delay(10000);
    nosound();
    return 0;
 }

It is very likely a hoax indeed. The resonant frequency of an object is determined largely by its size, among other material and environmental factors. Also, resonant frequency is probably not enough to kill a chicken, even if it is very loud.

The resonant frequency of the human head is somewhere within the range of 20 to 30 hertz (please correct me on this data). Ideally, an object's resonant frequency will increase as its size decreases, and since a chicken's skull is smaller than that of a human's, the resonant frequency of a chicken's skull must be at least 100 or 200 hertz. Yet again, I would appreciate numbers from anyone who knows such an obscure detail, as I cannot do the field work myself.


Considering that the low B on a 5-string bass resonates at a frequency of 30.8677 Hertz, and all the de-tuning that goes on in modern metal, anti-nu-metal zealots may have something scientific to squawk about now.

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