According to new research, the popular myth that strong earthquakes happen during certain phases of the Moon has no basis in science.
Susan Hough, scientist at the US Geological Survey UU., He studied more than 400 years of data from more than 200 earthquakes of magnitude eight or greater. He looked at the day when the earthquakes occurred and in what phases the Moon was. And he found no link between the shaking of the ground and the position of the Earth and the Moon in the sky, according to a study published this week in Letters of seismological research .
Previous research has shown that the tides, which are influenced by the Moon, can push faults to trigger earthquakes. "But if you read those documents, you'll see that the authors are very careful," Hough said in a statement. "They never claim that the data can be used for prediction, because the modulation is always very small."
Earthquakes occur because the earth's crust is divided into plates. These plates can move smoothly against each other, or clog. When they get stuck, they increase the tension over time, until one day, the plates take off, releasing energy that causes an earthquake. Scientists have been trying to predict earthquakes throughout history, but to this day it has proven impossible. And that has led to several popular beliefs, such as how animal behavior can predict earthquakes. However, the anecdotal evidence of weasels and snakes acting weird before the earth begins to tremble has not yet been supported by science (although some researchers are investigating this.)
"Of course, humans are animals that seek patterns so after the fact, we thought, oh yes, my dog behaved strangely or I noticed, you know, that the animals were really quiet, "said Ned Field, a geophysicist researcher at the USGS The Verge last year. "We always remember things after the earthquake, but those could be just random things and nothing has really turned out to be reliable in terms of earthquake prediction."
Now, Hough says that the phase of the Moon can also "predict a strong earthquake." In his analysis, Hough did not find any kind of pattern that was statistically significant, his article reports his findings rather firmly: The headline says : "Are large global earthquakes (Magnitude ≥8) occurring on the preferred days of the calendar year or lunar cycle?" And the summary simply says "No".
So, take your word for it, even though Hough does not have many Hopefully, "Sooner or later there will be another big earthquake on the full moon, and history will reappear," he said. "The hope is that this will give people a solid study to point out."