By: Haolun Zhang
Earthquakes naturally occur by continental drift, but the supernatural “earthquake” that happened during Taylor Swift’s Seattle concert was made by her fans.
Who could have imagined that the cheers of the overflowing crowd and the sounds played by the countless speakers in the stadium would shake the ground so hard that a nearby seismometer measured the shaking to be equal to a magnitude 2.3 earthquake?
This has happened before - on a much smaller scale. The “Beast” Quake was an earthquake that resounded from the crowd’s cheers when the Seattle Seahawks scored a last-second touchdown in 2011, but compared to this “Swift” quake, it was nothing.
The “Swifties,” who are Taylor Swift’s fans, would go crazy when she sang her trademark songs, “Love Story,” “Bad Blood,” “Anti-Hero,” and “Shake It Off,” those deafening sounds penetrating the ground, creating the “Swift” Quake.
At least one of the many sold-out Taylor Swift concerts broke Lumen Field’s attendance record, which had a maximum capacity of 72,000 people. With all those participants and the innumerable speakers that filled the stadium, the ground shook as Taylor Swift sang, according to a tweet from Chloe Melas, who attended one of the concerts.
Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, who works as a geology professor at Western Washington University, saw the comparison in a Pacific Northwest earthquake group she moderates on Facebook and immediately got to work. “The primary difference is the duration of shaking,” Caplan-Auerbach explained. “Cheering after a touchdown lasts for a couple of seconds, but eventually it dies down. It’s much more random than a concert. For Taylor Swift, I collected about 10 hours of data where rhythm controlled the behavior. The music, the speakers, the beat. All that energy can drive into the ground and shake it.”
Currently, Taylor Swift is on her 52-day Eras Tour, where nearly every one of her shows has sold out. Some tickets have even sold for 20,000 dollars. She is now embarking to Mexico, where she shall stay for August, and will finally end the trip next August in the United Kingdom.
Even Taylor Swift herself was surprised by the magnitude of the cheers and thanked her Seattle audience on Instagram, where she expressed how much she enjoyed it. For her, it was a truly record-breaking experience.