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Few rumors off Africa felt around the Earth



  • The small island of Mayotte was hit by six months of earthquakes from May to November.
  • Then, on November 11, a long monotonous "ring" was measured across the Earth.
  • Scientists say that they "have never seen anything like it".

On November 11, a faint rumor started off the northeast coast of the small island of Mayotte, wedged between the northern tip of Madagascar and Malawi, in the west of the African continent.

This did not make the news at the time because nobody felt it.

However, this is happening right now, because it seems like it has upset almost the whole planet.

"The waves have buzzed across Africa, emitting sensors in Zambia, Kenya, and Ethiopia," Maya Wei-Haas told National Geographic magazine. "They have crossed vast oceans, crossing Chile, New Zealand, Canada, and even Hawaii nearly 11,000 kilometers away."

What makes noise so interesting are the two things that everyone – scientists and enthusiasts – can get along with. To know:

  • They have never seen this recorded before, and
  • They have no idea what is going on.

There were many people who wondered and theorized:

But the cat still continues more than two weeks later.

Despite the fact that the seismic waves crossed the globe for 20 minutes, it seems we were lucky to know. I'm fortunate to have an earthquake enthusiast in New Zealand @matarikipax, who noticed an unusual signal in the real-time records of the US Geological Survey.

In fact, @matarikipax noted:

And curiosity began to build immediately.

Graduate in Geology from the University of Plymouth and founder of UK Earthquake Bulletin, Jamie Gurney stated that he had "no idea if a similar overall signal of this nature has already been observed".

volcanologist Dr. Robin George Andrews followed by Mayotte had "a strange double-shielded volcano" – but its last known eruption was "2,050 BCE".

At NatGeo, Wei Haas went to work, spending the next two weeks interviewing experts and amateurs, in an attempt to unravel the mystery.

Most agreed that the waves, from "their surprisingly monotonous and low frequency ring to their global spread", were unique.

"I do not think I have seen anything like it," said Göran Ekström, a seismologist at Columbia University. And he specializes in unusual earthquakes.

It's a wonderful fascinating science-research article that explains why the Mayotte waves look so strangely so.

Oddly, the waves came after an extended series of "traditional" earthquakes has ended. They had been shaking the island since May.

Maybe an eruption is coming. Maybe even a brand new island.

Maybe we'll have to go through this as a simple earthquake, because all we know is Something moved.

But it was something big enough to shake the world.

You can read more about this on National Geographic.


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