Living on the East Coast all of my life earthquakes have always intrigued me. While I get ‘how’ they work and understand that the plates move and shift, etc., etc., I still never ‘got’ them. I just can’t imagine the ground actually shaking. Does it feel like a wave under your feet? Do you almost fall over? Does it make you dizzy? Is it fun?? Inquiring minds want to know!!
Growing up my science teachers always encouraged us to do projects based on things that interested us, so consequently I always chose earthquakes or outer space! For the record, I made a mean styrofoam solar system!! Anyway, I also distinctly remember 2 of my all-time favorite science fair projects that revolved around earthquakes:
- My Earthquake Proof House – The house was built on a roller system that would diffuse the power of the earthquake and allow the house to gently roll back and forth instead of shaking and possibly being damaged. Not to brag but I still think it’s a great idea!
How did I demonstrate this you ask? I constructed a very basic model of a house out of foam board – completely decorated with the latest and greatest Barbie furniture, of course – and placed it on top of wooden rollers which were contained in the lid of a shoebox (aka the foundation). The whole thing was then placed on top of a small box, covered in astroturf, with a Bumble Ball inside. I’d turn the Bumble Ball on (do they even still make these?) and the house truly would just roll back and forth ever so slightly. Not one framed picture of Ken ever fell off the dresser!
- My Hypothesis that Earthquakes can cause a Volcano to Erupt (4th grade people, give me a break) – This model wasn’t as high-tech but it was the first time I used Rustoleum Spray Stone!! Spray painting was in my blood even at the tender age of 13. And spray stone is obviouslythe exact texture of the outside of a volcano!This one even won 2nd Place for ‘Best Artistic Design.’
The rest is a little hazy but it again used the Bumble Ball to recreate a quake and that would then cause the lava (red, metallic foil origami paper cut into strips that fanned out of the top) to rustle. Totally realistic.
So as you can see my love and interest in earthquakes is deeply rooted! I’ve always wanted to feel an earthquake (from a great distance] just to say I felt it and survived it. Well, today was my lucky day!!! The Virginia 5.8 quake sent tremors up and down the East Coast!! The only problem is…
I DIDN’T FEEL IT!!
Womp, Womp. Yep, you read that right. The girl that always dreamed of being in a small, harmless quake didn’t even feel the real deal. My husband and friends felt it at work, another friend felt it in their bed, geez even Caesar seemed a bit shaken up when I got home but this self-proclaimed earthquake lover didn’t even feel a tremor!
Looking back, my Mom and I were driving at the time and may have just been getting out of the car at the exact time it struck so we obviously felt it but I’m assuming the car moving just made it un-noticeable. But still, I’d have liked to have felt something! Oh, and it’s not like I sat on the floor watching the news for the next two hours hoping for a sizable aftershock or anything.
No way, I didn’t do that at all!
In all honestly, I am shocked we had an earthquake here on the East Coast but I am so thankful that there have been no serious injuries or damages reported. I spent a semester attending American University in DC and frequented Metro on an almost daily basis… I’d have been scared out of my mind if I’d have felt the ground shaking while I was on a train or standing there, still, waiting to board. Not to mention feeling shaking on the subways in NYC (unfortunately I can’t help but assume the worst when something out of the ordinary happens there). I would obviously choose having the East Coast safe and sound over personally feeling an earthquake any day!!
But a teeny, tiny aftershock up here in PA couldn’t hurt…