There is no doubt that the recent earthquake in Japan followed by the devastating tsunami has put the global limelight on the phenomenon of earthquakes once again. If you were looking for some interesting earthquake facts, you have come to the right place. Here is a list of 8 amazing facts about earthquakes.
1. Largest Recorded Earthquakes
The largest recorded earthquake in the United States occurred on Good Friday, March 28, 1964 in Alaska. It was a magnitude 9.2 earthquake. The largest recorded earthquake in the world was a magnitude 9.5 that occurred on May 22, 1960 in Chile.
2. World’s Deadliest Earthquake
The world’s deadliest earthquake occurred in 1556 in Central China. At that time, people lived in caved that were built from soft rock. All the caves in this region collapsed at over 830,000 people were killed. The second deadliest earthquake also occurred in China, this time in Tangshan region, where it killed 250,000 people in 1976.
3. Free Oscillation of the Earth
Here’s another amazing fact about earthquakes. During the worst earthquake the world has seen- the 1960 earthquake in Chile- seismic waves travelled all around the world and shook the world for several days. This phenomenon is known as the free oscillation of the earth and has been recorded only once so far.
4. Earthquakes on the Moon
There are earthquakes on the moon as well and they are called moonquakes. They occur less frequently than earthquakes and are of much lower magnitudes. However, they can also occur at great depths from the surface of the moon.
5. Earthquakes in Antarctica
Earthquakes that occur within the ice sheets of the Antarctica rather than within the land under the ice are called icequakes. They are more frequent than earthquakes, but of much smaller magnitudes.
6. Most Earthquakes in the World
The most number of earthquakes in the world occur along the boundary of the Pacific plate and the North American plate. It is estimated that 4 out of every 5 earthquakes in the world occur at this location, which has been named the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’.
7. Frequency of Earthquakes
It is estimated that over 500,000 earthquakes rock the earth every year. However, not all of them are devastating in their effects. Only 100,000 of these earthquakes can even be felt, whereas only 100 of them are strong enough to cause any real damage.
8. Southern California
The Southern California region is an extremely earthquake prone region. It alone experiences about 10,000 earthquakes every year. Most of them are too small to be felt. A few hundred reach the magnitude of over 3.0. Only 15-20 earthquakes reach the magnitude of over 4.0.
Reading these 8 amazing facts about earthquakes makes you see that earthquakes are actually very common occurrences for the planet earth. In many places, we have learnt to adapt to the circumstances and live peacefully alongside nature’s wrath. However, a large enough earthquake can cause a lot of damage and loss to both life and property.
Top image source: gtalumni.org