Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Earthquakes not to blame for mysterious California rattling

Something happened in Orange County, California causing houses to shake, windows to rattle on Tuesday. One resident said, "the house shook quickly, like a truck hit it." Another said, "it sounded like a dynamite blast almost." (San Jose Mercury News)

Earthquake? Nope. According to the USGS, "We did not record any earthquake tonight that could have caused this kind of shaking around Orange County." (

Well, it happened again today. This time, hundreds of miles to the North, off the Monterey Bay coast.

Still, experts don't know what's causing the disturbance.

It could be a sonic boom. And while the FAA is looking into it, a spokesman said, "we haven't found anything yet." (Mercury News)

USGS sensors did pick up something shaking, so it's not mass-hysteria. Still, whatever was shaking, it wasn't the earth. "The energy travelled across our seismic sensor network at the velocity of a compressional wave in air rather than the velocity of a similar wave through the ground, which is much faster," said a representative of the USGS.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.