As if the recently published government climate report did not worry you enough (catastrophic heatwaves, costly floods and dangerously poor air quality), mysterious seismic waves have been raging all over the world recently … and no one can figure out why.
The activity was recorded on November 11, just before 9.30 UT, according to a report by National Geographic . Seismic waves began about 15 miles off the coast of Mayotte, a French island between Africa and Madagascar, and buzzed in Africa and beyond.
The low-frequency seismic waves were discovered as far as Chile, New Zealand, Canada and Hawaii and scientists say they went on for about 20 minutes. Why have not you heard about these earthquakes so far? Well, probably because it looks as if they were not perceived by a single human at any of the places they reached.
In fact, only one person noticed a strange display in the real-time seismogram of the US Geological Survey. The discovery was actually made on Twitter by an earthquake lover (uhhh, what?) @matarikipax who discovered on the pictures suspicious zigzags and photos that puzzled researchers around the world.
] Scientists looked for a cause for the seismic waves and speculated about possible meteorite impacts, underwater volcanic eruptions, and almost all other natural events one could only dream of. If you were hoping this would be the part of telling you that you've cracked the case and everything's fine, now would be a good time to stop. So far, nothing has been tested.
Goran Ekström, a Columbia University seismologist specializing in unusual earthquakes, noted how unique the global activity is. "I do not think I saw anything like that," he said in the report. "That does not mean that the cause for her is ultimately the exotic."
Ekström is not the only seismologist to scratch his head in the news of the recent widespread waves. Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton, explained that in an earthquake, a starting point usually takes over the brunt of the quake and "waves" of primary waves (P waves) and secondary waves (S waves) and surface waves according to National Geographic . The most recent wide-ranging earthquake, classified as monochromatic by scientifically savvy people, consisted entirely of the latter without previous P or S waves.
Scientists believe that the tremors were related to a similar activity that Mayotte has been plaguing ever since. The tiny nation that was formed by volcanic activity has experienced hundreds ̵
The bad news? You still need to determine an exact cause or tell if this can happen again. The good news? All earthquakes in Mayotte were small and seem to get smaller.