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Nature Unleashed


Experiencing Earthquakes in Nature Unleashed

Travel deep into the Earth's interior to learn about the immense forces of heat and pressure that cause the plates of the Earth's surface to move and grind together. These shifts cause earthquakes and tsunamis that can have devastating consequences.

Nature Unleashed explains how earthquakes occur and how scientists monitor, measure, and attempt to predict them. Learn about the history of some of the largest earthquakes and tsunamis.

Earthquake Facts

  • The first "pendulum seismoscope" to measure the shaking of the ground during an earthquake was developed in 1751.
  • It is estimated that there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. 100,000 of those can be felt, and 100 of them cause damage.
  • From 1975-1995 there were only four states that did not have any earthquakes. They were: Florida, Iowa, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • Alaska is the most earthquake-prone state and one of the most seismically active regions in the world.
  • It was recognized as early as 350 BC by the Greek scientist Aristotle that soft ground shakes more than hard rock in an earthquake.

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More Earthquakes

Have you heard our Seismofon? The red chimes of this massive musical sculpture, created by the artist, Trimpin, hangs over the Chomp dining area on Level 3. The Seismofon is connected to a computer, which tracks earthquakes that occur all over the world and turns the data into sound. Whenever there's an earthquake, the sculpture produces music at different tempos and volumes according to the earthquake's magnitude. Stop by for a listen and check out the computer display to see what earthquakes are "playing."