The 2011 earthquake off the coast of Japan was so powerful – measuring almost 9.0 on the Richter scale – it moved Japan 8 feet closer to North America and shifted the planet on its axis, causing the length of a day to shorten by almost 1.8 microseconds

Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth’s axis

(CNN) — The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis.

“At this point, we know that one GPS station moved (8 feet), and we have seen a map from GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass,” said Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).

The temblor, which struck Friday afternoon near the east co… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

12 thoughts on “The 2011 earthquake off the coast of Japan was so powerful – measuring almost 9.0 on the Richter scale – it moved Japan 8 feet closer to North America and shifted the planet on its axis, causing the length of a day to shorten by almost 1.8 microseconds”

  1. No-Pizda-For-You

    The boss will make us stay 1.8 microseconds to make it up

  2. Chrisworld

    Makes you wonder over billions of years of cataclysms, how much longer or shorter earth days once were.

  3. Procean

    JAPAN IS COMING RIGHT AT US!!!

  4. alanlomaxfake

    I think I read that the Richter scale is no longer used to measure the magnitude of an earthquake

  5. EavingO

    So did the airlines adjust the prices down accordingly, or are they just pocketing the savings?

  6. GTSimo

    Edit: [If you want to know w]hat an almost 9.0 on the Richter scale feel like? I remember running through a corridor during that earthquake and it felt like [it was moving like] that scene from the movie *Inception*. [Edit: The whole ground moved like a trampoline and it’s weird because you forget that the ground is supposed to be a solid.]

    I live a little over 200km away from the epicentre. Now, dozens of earthquakes later, I’m blasé to anything less than a 5.0 on the Richter scale.

  7. ExtonGuy

    The 1.8 microsecond number was a theoretical calculation, not a real measurement. The length of a day (LOD) is measured every day or so(\*), and changes up and down by a few 100 microseconds most of the time. If we had minute by minute measurements, the effect of this earthquake (or any earthquake) would be invisible.Much more significant are things like variations in a hurricane season, or the amount of winter snowfall, or glacier melt.

    \* Published weekly, with interpolation for sub-daily intervals.

  8. Bubbaganewsh

    I can’t be the only one who noticed that loss of 1.8 microseconds, It messed up my sleep for weeks.

  9. Vietredneck

    I was stationed on Oahu during this. Tsunami warnings were going off and cops were driving up and down the streets telling everyone to seek higher ground. It was terrifying because I lived on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi during hurricane Katrina and remember seeing how much damage water can do to houses.

  10. Versutus76

    I remember hearing that and trying to convince my parents my bedtime should be 1.8 microseconds later because the day was shorter. I thought I was a genius.

Leave a Comment