An earthquake is the ground shaking caused by a sudden slip on a fault. Faults are caused by the tectonic plates grinding and scraping against each other as they continuously and slowly move. In California, for example, there are two plates - the Pacific Plate which extends from western California to Japan, including much of the Pacific Ocean floor and the North American Plate which is most of the North American continent and parts of the Atlantic Ocean.
Here are stories that various societies used to explain the shifting earth, as reported on the CERI Web site at www. Mexican Vaqueros, California El Diablo, an Indian god, made a giant rip in the ground so that he and his cohorts did not have to take the long way around when they wanted to stir up mischief on Earth.
Gabrielino Indians, Southern California Long ago, Great Spirit made a beautiful land that turtles carried on their backs in lakes and rivers. One day the turtles began to argue. Three swam east; the other three swam west.
The earth shook and cracked. The turtles could not swim far, because their load was heavy.
So they made up. But once in a while, the turtles argue again. Each time, the earth shakes. Hindus of India They believed that eight mighty elephants held up the land.
When one of them grew weary, it lowered and shook its head, causing an earthquake. Kamchatka, Siberia, Russia A god named Tuli drove an earth-laden sled pulled by dogs.
When the dogs stopped to scratch at fleas, the earth shook. Mongolia, China A gigantic frog which carried the world on its back twitched periodically, producing slight quakes.
Peru Whenever a god visited the earth to count how many people were there, his footsteps caused earthquakes. To shorten his task, the people ran out of their houses to shout 'I'm here, I'm here!
Japan A giant catfish lived in mud beneath the earth. A prankster, it could be restrained only by Kashima, a god who protected the people from earthquakes. So long as Kashima kept a mighty magical rock over the catfish, the earth was still.
But when he relaxed, the catfish thrashed about, causing earthquakes. Modern stories The Swallowing Earth People all over the world believe that when an earthquake happens, a chasm may open up along the fault, and anybody standing over the fault will fall in and be swallowed.
This is a myth. Sudden movement along a fault may create a shallow crevice; however, there is no reliable account of anyone falling to his or her death in such a crack.
Earthquake Immunity Some people believe they are protected from a large earthquake because their home is often shaken by small earthquakes that 'let off steam.
A moderate earthquake, of magnitude 5. The moderate quakes may actually be precursors of larger earthquakes. Astrological considerations The idea that somehow Mars, Jupiter and Saturn govern the earth's destructive action, and the notion that earth tides are possible triggers, is gaining popularity.
Tides are caused as the rotating Earth is influenced by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun. Studies do not reveal statically meaningful correlations of earthquake occurrence with tidal loading.Myths about earthquakes evolved in many cultures to explain the catastrophic eruptions before the science behind them was well-understood.
Some myths continue into today's culture.
For example, some believe that certain weather (calm and oppressively humid) is a precursor to an earthquake. Earthquakes cover as much ground in essay writing as they do in the real world. You can relate a personal earthquake experience, describe the steps to become a seismologist, narrate the earthquake history of a certain location or compare earthquakes to other natural disasters.
According to a popular Japanese myth the cause of earthquakes is the giant fish Namazu, often depicted as a giant catfish in woodcuts called regardbouddhiste.com is considered one of the yo-kai, creatures. Following an earthquake near Edo (modern day Tokyo) in (one of the Ansei great earthquakes), the Namazu became worshiped as a yonaoshi daimyōjin (god of world rectification).
Namazu-e (catfish prints) are a minor genre of ukiyo-e. Japan is substantially prone to earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. It has the 15th highest natural disaster risk as measured in the World Risk Index.
The Japanese archipelago has suffered periodic and devastating earthquakes throughout its history (10% of the world’s seismic activity occurs in Japan), and the creation of a monster which personified these terrible events was a mechanism which allowed people to explain and justify their seemingly random occurrence.
The catfish Namazu swimming in the waters deep beneath the earth is thus an answer to .