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DVD Smith
1284504.  Sat May 19, 2018 10:21 am Reply with quote

The first earthquake detector was invented nearly 2000 years ago in ancient China. It was designed in 132 AD by an inventor, mathematician and all-round polymath called Zhang Heng. (Discussed previously on the boards here.)



The detector was made from a six-foot-wide jar, with eight dragons sitting on it face-down, one pointed out in each compass point direction. Each dragon had a bronze ball in its mouth, and beneath each dragon was a bronze toad with its mouth open, ready to receive the ball. If an earthquake occurred somewhere in the country, the dragon closest to the direction of the earthquake would release its ball, indicating the earthquake’s direction of origin.

The reason that it was built was that the ancient Chinese believed that earthquakes were caused by cosmic imbalance (cue Thanos joke), or the heavens’ anger at human sin. Therefore the ruling dynasty wanted to know anytime there was an earthquake in a particular region so that they could investigate.

In 2005 Chinese scientists built a replica of the original detector and found that it worked perfectly.

Sources: [1] [2]

 
DVD Smith
1284519.  Sat May 19, 2018 12:08 pm Reply with quote

The word "youthquake" may have been Oxford English Dictionary's Word of the Year in 2017, but the term itself is much older than that, having been coined by editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine Diana Vreeland in an editorial in 1965. She used it to describe the counterculture movements of the 1960s, particularly with regards to fashion and music. [1] One of the biggest inventions to come out of the Youthquake movement was the mini-skirt, usually credited to designer Mary Quant. She named the mini-skirt not after its size but after her favourite car, the Mini. [2]

Another movement to use the ‘-quake’ suffix was Boobquake, in 2010. After an Iranian cleric blamed earthquakes on immodestly-dressed women, an American blogger named Jennifer McCreight decided to organise a rally to test this theory, using social media to call upon women to gather together in revealing clothing. Over 200,000 women participated worldwide – although apparently the largest gathering in Indiana attracted more male spectators than female participants. [3] [4] The story gained notoriety after (what are the chances!) a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan on the day of the Boobquake protests. [5] A few days later, McCreight wrote in the Guardian that she had looked at the number of earthquakes recorded on that day and concluded that their rallies had not caused any statistically significant difference in earthquake activity. (Obviously.) [6]


Last edited by DVD Smith on Mon May 21, 2018 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total

 
DVD Smith
1284526.  Sat May 19, 2018 2:03 pm Reply with quote

Quakes on the Moon can last for hours. Unlike on Earth, where the oceans help to dampen earthquakes, the lack of lunar water means that moonquakes ring around the Moon for ages. One recorded moonquake in the 1970s lasted for around ten minutes at full strength, with the vibrations taking several hours to subside, echoing around the moon's surface. [1]

In 2017 a new published study confirmed earlier theories that moonquakes occurring deep below the moon's surface could be caused by the Earth's tidal pull. The quakes were recorded happening approximately every 27 days, the same length as the moon's orbit. [2]

Neutron stars can also experience quakes. In December 2004, scientists recorded a “starquake” from a neutron star just 20km across, 50,000 light years from Earth, “akin to hitting the neutron star with a gigantic hammer, causing it to ring like a bell” (in the case of this star, with a frequency of 94.5 Hz, which means it would have sounded like an F-Sharp). Within a tenth of a second, the star released a flash of radiation containing more energy than the Sun produces in 100,000 years. If the starquake had happened within 10 light years of Earth, it would have severely damaged Earth’s atmosphere and probably triggered a mass extinction. There are several stars within that distance from Earth but none of them are neutron stars capable of starquakes. [3] [4]

Thankfully for us, the Sun does not experience starquakes. However, it does experience sunquakes. When the Sun ejects a flare or a coronal mass ejection, the eruption also sends waves of energy down into the Sun’s surface like a lightning bolt, causing the surface to ripple in concentric circles (as seen in this video). [5][6]

Back on Earth, the term ‘skyquake’ is used to describe any loud noise heard in the sky that can’t be explained, usually describes as sounding like a sonic boom, or thunder from a sky with no clouds. These have been variously attributed to military aircraft, meteors, volcanoes, mining operations and solar activity, among others. [7] [8] [9] UFOlogists seem particularly fond of the term ‘skyquake’ – the earliest use I found for its current definition was in a 1955 book called The Flying Saucer Conspiracy. [10] The USGS has written a great article that debates and debunks various theories for skyquakes, or “Seneca guns” as they are known in America. [11]

I also found some records of ‘skyquake’ being used in the 19th century as another name for thunderstorms – two books from the 1870s, [11] [12] and an Australian newspaper from 1886. [13] It seems to stem from an idea at the time that earthquakes were caused by electrical discharges within the earth, and so an earthquake was considered to be the underground equivalent of a thunderstorm. By the 20th century the term seemed to have evolved to just mean “an explosion in the sky” – a letter to a Sydney newspaper in 1909 describes the fear that aircraft getting struck by lightning will lead to “skyquakes more disastrous than earthquakes”, [14] while an article from a Melbourne newspaper from 1946 refers to “the Nagasaki and Hiroshima skyquakes”. [15]

Speaking of unexplained noises, in 1997 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration (NOAA) detected an extremely powerful low-frequency sound under the surface of the southern Pacific Ocean, which they named “Bloop”. It was detected at listening stations over 5000km apart, lasted about one minute, and could not be explained by either animal or geological activity. (You can read more about it in this old QI thread, and listen to an audio recording of the Bloop here.) Since that QI thread was made, the NOAA has concluded that the Bloop was caused by an icequake – a sudden release of energy caused by a glacier or frozen rock cracking under the pressure of pockets of air forming due to melting/freezing ice. [16] [17] The earliest reference of icequakes I could find was in Thomas McEever’s On Hannibal’s Passage Through the Alps from 1823, where he describes them such:

"I allude to the frequent disruptions, or icequakes, as they are termed...the numerous globules of air, that had been incased in those vast accumulations, soon begin to expand, and struggling as it were, for liberty, in a short time acquire such irresistible force as to occasion the disservation of the mountain". [18]


Last edited by DVD Smith on Mon May 21, 2018 6:35 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Baryonyx
1284645.  Mon May 21, 2018 4:39 am Reply with quote

What a wobbly universe we live in, thanks man!

 
Alexander Howard
1284649.  Mon May 21, 2018 4:47 am Reply with quote

DVD Smith wrote:
...in Thomas McEever’s On Hannibal’s Passage Through the Alps from 1823, where he describes them such:

"I allude to the frequent disruptions, or icequakes, as they are termed...the numerous globules of air, that had been incased in those vast accumulations, soon begin to expand, and struggling as it were, for liberty, in a short time acquire such irresistible force as to occasion the disservation of the mountain". [18]


Why can't travel books be written as beautifully these days?

 
AlmondFacialBar
1284652.  Mon May 21, 2018 6:31 am Reply with quote

DVD Smith wrote:
Another movement to use the ‘-quake’ suffix was Boobquake, in 2010. After an Iranian cleric blamed earthquakes on immodestly-dressed women, an American blogger named Jennifer McCreight decided to organise a rally to test this theory, using social media to call upon women to gather together in revealing clothing. Over 200,000 women participated worldwide – although apparently the largest gathering in Indiana attracted more male spectators than female participants. [3] [4] The story gained notoriety after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan on the day of the Boobquake protests. [5] A few days later, McCreight wrote in the Guardian that she had looked at the number of earthquakes recorded on that day and concluded that their rallies had not caused any statistically significant difference in earthquake activity. (Obviously.) [6]


Boobquake, however, almost immediately spawned Brainquake, a countermovement headed by Golbarg Bashi, an Iranian feminist professor of Iranian Studies at Rutgers. Her argument against it is that it's a white, western protest that doesn't take into account the actual situation of women in Iran and by concentrating on the sexualisation of their bodies actually objectifies them even further. Brainquake therefore focusses on the intellectual achievements of women rather than their physicality.

Seen from here by a white, middle-class, ridiculously privileged EU-citizen (which one exception that according to the current opinion polls will be taken care of come Friday) both movements are valid, but I might well be wrong there...

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
DVD Smith
1296679.  Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:20 am Reply with quote

Q: What caused a small earthquake in Mexico City during Mexico's 2018 World Cup win over Germany?

[Klaxon: Fans all over the city jumping up and down, celebrating the winning goal]

You may have read this summer that when Mexico scored their winning goal against Germany in the 2018 World Cup, football fans all over Mexico City jumped and celebrated so much they registered as an earthquake on the Mexican Seismic Monitoring System. [1] Well sadly that appears to be untrue, as the head of Mexico's seismological service believes it was just one or two people, celebrating quite near the seismograph stations. [2] [3] [4]



However, sports-induced tremors are not that unusual a phenomenon. In fact, they have a name - footquakes, a term dating back at least to 2007, when a team of American seismologists working in Cameroon couldn't trace the source of recent country-wide tremors, and discovered they resulted from Cameroon scoring goals during the 2006 African Cup of Nations. [5] [6] [7] Stories of footquakes go back years - Louisiana had the "Earthquake Game" in 1988, Argentina had the "Gol de terremoto" in 1992, while the Seattle Seahawks' fans cause tremors so often that seismographs have been installed inside the actual stadium. [8]

But even more interesting is that these "footquakes" can be used to identify songs. A team measuring earthquakes in Barcelona found themselves registering footquakes from the nearby Nou Camp stadium, and found that the footquakes from stadium concerts came in waves ("harmonic structures") because people were dancing in rhythm. [9] At a 2016 Bruce Springsteen concert, they were able to match the intensity and BPM of the footquakes to the songs played during the encore (data visible here). The biggest footquakes came during "Shout", the fastest and jumpiest song of the set (speaking from experience!). [10]



Even more specifically, tremors registered at Leicester City's ground have becoming known as Vardyquakes, after top striker Jamie Vardy. The tremors were detected by a seismometer at nearby Leicester University, who originally set them up to detect worldwide earthquakes, but the project coincided with Leicester City FC's unlikely run to the Premier League title and so the team began measuring footquakes from LCFC matches, even going viral with their own "Vardyquake" Twitter account. [11] [12] [13] [14]

 

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