Fact Slides

Earthquake facts

The largest earthquake ever recorded was a magnitude 9.5 in Chile back in 1960.

The 2011 earthquake near Japan increased the Earth’s rotation speed, shortening the day by 1.8 microseconds.

Japan suffers 1,500 earthquakes every year.

Inca architecture was built to be earthquake resistant. Inca masonry is effective in withstanding even major tremors.

Earthquakes turn water into gold.

After an 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City in 1985, nearly all newborn babies survived a collapsed hospital for 7 days without nourishment, water, warmth or human contact.

An earthquake on Dec. 16, 1811 caused parts of the Mississippi River to flow backwards.

Mount Everest shrank one inch (2.5 cm) due to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

In 132 AD, a Chinese inventor built a seismograph which, at the moment of an earthquake, expelled a copper ball out of the mouth of a dragon and into the mouth of a frog.

There are about 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. 100,000 of those can be felt, and 100 of them cause damage.

Southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes each year, though most are so small that they are never felt.

The world’s deadliest recorded earthquake occurred in 1556 in China, killing an estimated 830,000 people.

The 1556 Shaanxi earthquake in China was the deadliest earthquake on record with 830,000 deaths.

Hawaii’s largest-ever earthquake occurred in 1868 and the aftershocks are still being observed.

The largest recorded earthquake in the U.S. was a magnitude 9.2 that struck Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1964.

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