Earthquakes are scary. They cause widespread death and destruction, and make you realise that mankind may consider itself to be highly developed, but Nature always has the upper hand. Go ahead and read the following facts about earthquakes if you’re not convinced.
1. Each year, about 20,000 earthquakes are recorded by The National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) around the world. That’s about 50 a day!
Millions of earthquakes go unrecorded each year because they are too weak; in fact, it is estimated that some part of the world is affected by an earthquake once every thirty seconds!(source)
2. The rim of the Pacific Ocean, called the “Ring of Fire” is affected by almost 80% of all the planet’s earthquakes.
The Ring of Fire is home to over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes – a total of 452 volcanoes! It is also because of this increased volcanic activity that the region experiences more earthquakes in comparison to other places on Earth.(source)
3. The name “Earthquake” is only applicable when the quake happens on Earth. For instance, a quake on the moon is called a “Moonquake”, one on Mars is a “Marsquake”, and so on.
A quake is the result of seismic activity, which leads to the surface of a planet, moon or star to shake. The moonquake – the lunar equivalent of the earthquake – was first discovered by the astronauts aboard Apollo; moonquakes are weaker in comparison, although they can last much longer than ones on Earth. A marsquake is a quake that occurs on Mars, a venusquake is one that… well, you catch the drift. Planetquakes and starquakes too exist, by the way.(source)
4. The deadliest earthquake to ever strike the planet was on the 23rd of January, 1556 in Shaanxi, China, which is believed to have killed approximately 830,000 people.
The magnitude of the quake is believed to have been about 8.3. The quake was centered in the middle of a highly populated area, and this led to a heavy loss to life. Houses and streets were also destroyed, with crevices of up to 60 feet opening up in the earth in some places.(source)