A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upwards or downwards, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower. To experience the illusion, play the clip and then play it again and again. After you have heard it a couple of times, you are surely going to question your sanity.
[via Geeks Are Sexy]