The Times Square fake subway grates are a huge part of New York City’s most popular landmark — but many people don’t even know they’re there.
In a recent clip, Viera revealed the source of a strange “secret sound” underneath Times Square. As it turns out, that sound comes from an area that looks like part of the New York City Subway but is actually a decades-old art installation.
“Did you know about this?” Viera captioned his video, which now has 2.4 million views.
In the clip, Viera shows a series of subway grates right in the middle of Times Square. As he notes, it’s an area that millions and millions of tourists traverse each year.
However, the subway grates aren’t actually real. The grates, which create a low, quiet “humming” sound, were designed in 1977 by artist Max Neuhaus.
The grates look, feel and even sound like you’re standing above the New York City Subway, but that’s just part of the experience. In a 2006 interview with The New York Times, Neuhaus referred to the work as a “sound sculpture.”
“People pass here every single day,” Viera says in this video. “And people have no idea that this right here is an art installation.”
Viera also points out that the installation was temporarily removed from Times Square but later reinstalled. Today, visitors can walk around 46th Street and hear the noises.
TikTok users were blown away by the realization. Many of them, even some New Yorkers, had no idea the fake subway grates were there.
“Wow. Dude, how do you know these things?” one user asked.
“No way,” another added.
“Fascinating,” another wrote.
Viera’s clip is just the latest in a string of viral TikToks that reveal hidden secrets around New York. In the past, users have also shared “secret codes” for navigating Central Park as well as a life hack for spotting celebrities in the city.
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