But there is concern that it may have a causal link to hearing loss. The AFP report on this said that the din emitting from the tuneless plastic horns is louder than that from a drum or a chainsaw, according to the survey by hearing aid manufacturer Phonak. It said tests had shown the sound emitted by a vuvuzela was the equivalent to 127 decibels. The sound from a drum was put at 122 decibels while the sound from a referee's whistle registered 121.8 decibels.
"Extended exposure at just 85 decibels puts us at a risk of permanent noise-induced hearing loss," Phonak said in a statement on the SAPA news agency. When subjected to 100 decibels or more, hearing damage can occur in just 15 minutes."
South African supporters love it, but players from rival teams have been less enthusiastic. Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso has called for it to be banned as it impedes players' concentration but FIFA chief Sepp Blatter has defended it as a part of South African football culture.
The vuvuzela probably costs less than a dollar to make and creates one note (only) and when thousands of people toot them simultaneously, you get a loud, incessant hum that makes the entire stadium sound like it's being attacked by angry bees. It's a staple at any South African soccer match and ... surprise! Everyone hates it!
Wickipedia describes the vuvuzela, which sometimes is called a "lepatata" (its Setswana name) or a stadium horn, is a horn one blows. It is about one metre in length, and requires some lip and lung strength to blow and emit a loud monotone. A similar instrument (known as corneta in Brazil and Latin American countries) is used by football (soccer) fans in South America.
Initially constructed with tin, the vuvuzela became popular in South Africa in the 1990s. Well-known Kaizer Chiefs FC fan Freddie "Saddam" Maake claims to have invented the vuvuzela by adapting an aluminium version as early as 1965 from a bicycle horn after removing the black rubber to blow with his mouth. He later found it to be too short and joined a pipe to make it longer. Maake has photos of him in the 1970s and 1980s at local South African games and international games in 1992 and 1996 and at the 1998 World Cup in France, holding the aluminium vuvuzela. He says the instrument was banned as authorities ruled it a dangerous weapon, which prompted him to find a plastic company that could manufacture it.
Wickipedia also states that the origin of the name vuvuzela is disputed. It may have originated from Zulu for "making a vuvu noise," directly translated "vuvu-ing" because of the "vuvu" sound it makes, or from township slang related to the word for "shower". Alternately, township slang may have adopted the name for a shower head based on the word vuvuzela because of its similar appearance. Slang in townships of South Africa also adapted the word vuvuzela to describe pumping up a performance.
A Well-Being Australia theologian noting 'a point to ponder' says, that Biblical history is full of the sound of the horn (single note trumpets). Perhaps the most well known Biblical story was associated with the fall of Jericho. The Israelites, having marched around the city seven times, when they heard the sound of the horns (trumpets) they shouted, and the walls fell down flat (Joshua 6 verse 20).