- The small island of Mayotte was shocked by six months of earthquakes from May to November.
- Then, on November 11, a long monotonous "ring" was measured throughout the Earth.
- Scientists say they "have never seen anything like that".
On November 11, a low roar began on the northeast coast of the small island of Mayotte, flanked between the northern tip of Madagascar and Malawi to the west on the African mainland.
It didn't make news at that time because no one felt it.
That makes news now, because it looks like it's rumbling just about the whole planet.
"Waves buzzing throughout Africa, ringing sensors in Zambia, Kenya, and Ethiopia," Maya Wei-Haas reported for National Geographic. "They crossed the vast ocean, hummed across Chile, New Zealand, Canada, and even Hawaii almost 11,000 miles away."
What makes noise so interesting are two things about it that everyone – scientists and backyard fans alike – can approve. That is:
- They have never seen this tape before, and;
- They don't know what happened.
There are many people wondering and theorizing:
But the chat continued more than two weeks later.
Despite the fact that seismic waves ring throughout the world for 20 minutes, it seems we are fortunate to know that it happened. Lucky enough, that is, to have earthquake fans in New Zealand who go with a handle @matarikipaks, who pay attention to unusual signals in real-time recording of the US Geological Survey.
In fact, @matarikipax notes:
And curiosity began to be built soon.
University of Plymouth Geology Graduate and founder UK UK Earthquake Bulletin Jamie Gurney said he "did not know whether similar global signals from this nature had been observed".
Volcanology Dr. Robin George Andrews followed by noting that Mayotte has a "strange double-shield volcano" – but the last known eruption is "2,050 BC".
While at NatGeo, Wei Haas went to work, spending the next two weeks interviewing experts and amateurs, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Most agree that waves, from "monotonous rings, low frequencies" that are surprising, to their global spread ", are unique.
"I don't think I've seen anything like this," said Columbia University geologist Göran Ekström. And he specializes in unusual earthquakes.
This is a large part of an interesting science of investigation that investigates why the Mayotte wave is very similar to aliens.
Strangely, the waves are coming after a long series of "traditional" earthquakes ended. They have rocked the island since May.
Maybe an eruption will come. Maybe a new island, even.
We may have to pass it only as another vibration, because all we know is something shift.
But that is something big enough to shake the world.
You can read more about it on National Geographic.