Scientists trace seismic activity back to a wild Taylor Swift concert

A team of researchers has traced seismic activity under Seattle back to a nearby Taylor Swift concert that was a result of energetic fans.

1 minute & 8 seconds read time

Earthquakes are typically caused by subtle movements of tectonic plates that sometimes result in powerful tremors across regions.

Residents in the United States' Pacific Northwest are no strangers to these small tremors, and on July 22 and July 23, seismologists detected one, but it wasn't traced back to tectonic activity. According to Western Washington University's Dr. Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, this 2.3 magnitude quake was a result of Taylor Swift fans, or Swifties, jumping up and down to the singer's music during her Eras tour concert at the Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington.

This isn't the first time that an entertainment event has resulted in seismologists picking up seismic activity. Notably, researchers compared the recent Swiftquake to the Beastquake of 2011, which was caused by Seahawks fans when they celebrated Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints. According to Caplan-Auerbach, "The shaking was twice as strong as 'Beast Quake'. It absolutely doubled it."

Scientists trace seismic activity back to a wild Taylor Swift concert 95115195

For those wondering how a seismic event could occur, there were some 70,000 people at Taylor Swift's concert, which according to Mouse Reusch, a seismologist at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, was one of the biggest events the region has seen in some time. For comparison, the Seahawks and Saints game that the Swiftquake was compared to had 66,336 attendees.

"Cheering after a touchdown lasts for a couple seconds, but eventually it dies down. It's much more random than a concert," said Caplan-Auerbach. "The music, the speakers, the beat. All that energy can drive into the ground and shake it."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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