Taylor Swift concert unleashed a 2.3 magnitude earthquake

It's still unclear whether it is the fans dancing or the sound system that caused the Earth to shake.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Taylor Swift.jpg
Taylor Swift

minds-eye/ Wikimedia  

Something unexpected happened when Taylor Swift took the stage at Seattle's Lumen Field this past weekend. Her concert goers and sound system made so much agitation, they managed to shake the Earth.

This is according to a report by CBC News published on Friday.

Beast quake

Jackie Caplan-Auberbach, a professor in the geology department at the University of Western Washington, told the news outlet the concert produced a bigger earthquake then the "Beast Quake" of 2011 — an event that saw fans go wild after Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown for the Seattle Seahawks, earning the NFL team an impressive victory.

Back in 2011, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) estimated that the commotion from Seattle fans cheering for the touchdown made the Earth shake with the equivalent of a 2.0 magnitude earthquake.

"If that was a two, this would've been a 2.3.," Caplan-Auberbach told CBC News highlighting how powerful Swift’s impact was on her audience. 

The researcher is yet unclear on what exactly caused the shake. It could have been the fans dancing or the booming sound system but one thing is for sure the data collected by the seismologists will have some pretty interesting uses.

Mouse Reusch of PNSN told CBC News her colleagues turned readings of the ground shaking into an audio file that allowed them to reverse-engineer the concert's set list by contrasting the beats per minute with the artist’s songs.

"It was kind of this weird, backwards way of coming up with the set list from … the seismometer sitting next door to the Lumen Field," she said.

A little bit of noise

Meanwhile, Caplan-Auberbach noted the data is just "a little bit of noise" from a seismology perspective but offers a greater opportunity to entice young people and particular Taylor Swift fans to get excited about what possibilities science offers.

"For me, one of the really exciting parts is sharing what science is … and letting people recognize that science is not just a question of asking these erudite questions about things that don't matter to us or that you have to be in a white lab coat in a lab," she said.

"Observations that we make about the world, questions that we ask about the world, tests that we run to see if our questions or hypotheses are right, all of that is science. Even if we're doing it about things like music, like dancing, like things that fulfil us," Caplan-Auberbach said.

"And I really hope that people see from this that we do science all the time, and I really hope it demystifies what the scientific process is like."