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When Seahawks Fans Cause Seismic Events

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, I got curious: did all those fervent fans I’ve been seeing painting the town blue and green for the last several weeks cause another BeastQuake? From a brief browse of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, it would appear sadly, no. There weren’t enough fans packed tightly enough in one place at the critical moment to cause an anthropogenic seismic event. But that’s not to say there wasn’t a whole lotta shaking going on during the last few weeks!

Seismograms of some of the earth tremors caused by frenetic fans. The trace in black is the original BeastQuake. The green and red ones are from our January 11th game against the Saints. Image courtesy PNSN.

Seismograms of some of the earth tremors caused by frenetic fans. The trace in black is the original BeastQuake. The green and red ones are from our January 11th game against the Saints. Image courtesy PNSN.

Yeah. I’m kinda proud I live in a town where the fans cause the earth to move when our team scores. I’m not a huge football fan, but I loves me some geology, so this warms the cockles nicely. And maybe it was a good thing the Super Bowl wasn’t played here, because those fans might’ve shaken the city down.

This has to be one of the greatest annotated seismograms of all time:

Seismogram showing the seismic events caused by Seahawks fans. I especially love the bits circled and annoted "No idea." Image courtesy PNSN.

Seismogram showing the seismic events caused by Seahawks fans. I especially love the bits circled and annoted "No idea." Image courtesy PNSN.

We watched the game on the projector at work, and I watched that rain of blue and green confetti come down, and the Tank o’ Gatorade poured on Coach Carroll, and looked at the beaming players as they practically danced through the crush, and felt that pride even non-fans feel when the old hometown team does a great big thing. Look at these happy faces. Even Richard Sherman, who had to finish on crutches, can’t quit grinning.

Screen shot of Richard Sherman celebrating the maclargehuge win. Click the pic to watch a video that includes the Gatorade Moment.

Screen shot of Richard Sherman celebrating the maclargehuge win. Click the pic to watch a video that includes the Gatorade Moment.

And here’s our MVP, Malcolm Smith, waving that trophy high:

Malcom Smith hoists his MVP trophy. Congratulations, Malcolm! Screenshot from same video as above.

Malcom Smith hoists his MVP trophy. Congratulations, Malcolm! Screenshot from same video as above.

You can betcha the next home game will be a seismic event!

(And, to my Broncos fans: may there be a next time for ye soon.)

Dana Hunter About the Author: Dana Hunter is a science blogger, SF writer, and geology addict whose home away from SciAm is En Tequila Es Verdad. Follow her on Twitter: @dhunterauthor. Follow on Twitter @dhunterauthor.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. JVidale 11:27 pm 02/4/2014

    Glad to see the seismograms are of interest.

    The green Beastquake was really against the 49ers last month, and the volume of roaring crowd filing out the stadium is much less prominent on the 3 weeks that the Hawks lost in the 2010-11 summary plot.

    Link to this

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