Do you want to feel what it’s like in an earthquake? Stand on the simulator and choose your earthquake.
But what is an earthquake? The ground we stand on may appear to be stable, but it’s not. We stand on what is known as the Earth’s "crust". It may appear to be solid and unmoving, but it’s not. Nor does it cover the Earth completely. The round planet is covered by pieces of crust that are placed pressed hard against each other. When sufficiently high tension has been built up along the other sides, earthquakes, tsunamis or even new mountain ranges can be created. The tensions can cause the plates of the Earth’s crust to move sideways, and in a vertical direction. Both motions most often occur at the same time.
The Richter scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake and specifies how much energy is released. The largest earthquake known until now was in Chile in 1960 with a magnitude of 9.5 on the Richter scale.
The science of earthquakes is known as "seismology". The earthquake that occurred in the Indian Ocean in 2004 took place under water, and had a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale. The quake caused an enormous wave, a tsunami, that destroyed huge areas, similar to the disaster that took place in March 2011 in Japan. In the latter case, however, the events led also to several reactor meltdowns in the nuclear energy facility Fukoshima.