Jumping, screaming football fans cause minor quake
MANILA, Philippines – The Seattle area was shaken by minor quakes caused by Seattle Seahawks fans in a jampacked stadium on Monday, December 2.
Thousands of jumping and screaming sports fans at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle literally caused the earth to shake during a football game between the Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints, according to scientists.
The tremors, recorded by a University of Washington (UW) seismometer a block south of the stadium, coincided with several high points in the game. There were 5 separate seismic events recorded during the game, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) director John Vidale told CNN.
The most significant was a quake that registered between magnitude 1 and 2, caused by the fans cheering at a touchdown made by the Seahawks' defensive lineman Michael Bennett in the game's first quarter.
The Seahawks won the game, 34-7.
Aside from the tremors, the game also registered a crowd noise level of 137.6 decibels – a roar made by 68,387 Seahawks fans, said the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, that is now a Guinness world record.
This, the NPR noted, is louder than a jet engine at takeoff, which registers at 135. The previous record was by Kansas City (137.5 decibels), which in turn beat a previous record by the Seahawks (136.6 decibels).
The phenomenon of thousands of raucuous fans causing record-level noise and minor tremors isn't new. In January 2011, in the same venue, a 67-yard touchdown by another Seahawks player created the so-called "Beast Quake," also recorded by the same UW seismometer.
In 1988, the seismograph of the Louisiana State University also recorded a tremor after the school's football team won over Auburn University, CNN noted.
Minor tremors could have also occurred in many other stadiums during similar events, but Seattle's case is unique because of the proximity of recording instruments, making it possible to be recorded, according to the Associated Press.
Seahawks clinches playoff berth
The Seahawks improves to an NFL-best 11-1 and clinching a playoff berth.
Seattle led 27-7 at half-time in the showdown of teams with the best records in the National Conference and kept Saints star quarterback Drew Brees contained most of the night.
The victory gave the Seahawks a two-game edge in the fight for the best record in the conference and a home-field playoff advantage with New Orleans and Carolina now both 9-3 with 4 games to play.
The Saints fell into a tie with Carolina for the NFC South division lead and the two teams will meet twice in the next three weeks.
Whichever of them emerges as the division champion will likely earn a first-round bye and a home-field edge in the second round.
The Seahawks lead San Francisco (8-4) by 3 games atop the NFC West and can clinch the division by beating San Francisco next week. – with reports from the Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com