Monday night’s Seattle Seahawks game brought a whole new meaning to that gravelly sports rally, “Let’s. Get. Ready to rumbuuuuuul.”
As fans cheered, jumping in the stands so hard the stadium swayed ever so slightly, a nondescript seismometer in a nearby brick building recorded a magnitude 1 to 2 earthquake.
Seahawks fans are known for being LOUD, but they apparently also shake the ground when they’re winning. Monday night they beat the New Orleans Saints, 34-7.
University of Washington professor John Vidale discovered the 12th Man’s earth-moving enthusiasm on Jan. 8, 2011, when he synched the seismograph with the football game, which he had recorded on his DVR. He noticed a minor earthquake register when Marshawn Lynch ran 67 yards for a touchdown – also in a game against the Saints.
That touchdown and its aftershock became so legendary that they were named the Beast Quake.
Since then, Vidale and his colleagues at Pacific Northwest Seismic Network have checked in with the reports from the seismometer – a gray box, about the size of a car battery, bolted to the concrete foundation of the building where it resides. This particular seismometer is known to the researchers as KDK – its first initials a reference to the Kingdome, which has long since been knocked down.
The seismometer registers other blips of activity: Jet planes that reach sonic speed, mining, trains and trucks. But humans?
Doug Gibbons, a researcher with the seismic network, called it an impressive feat – significant enough to have registered a dot on Mount St. Helens or Mount Rainier.
“The energy from those folks is calculated on a similar scale,” Gibbons said. He noted, however, that humans can’t feel a magnitude 2 quake.
A commenter to the seismic network’s Facebook page observed that other touchdowns appear to have touched off earth-shaking stampedes from fans.
Vidale replied: “In retrospect, probably most Seahawks touchdowns in home games rattled our seismometer, we're just getting better at spotting it. The fans are uncommonly loud, however, and Marshawn's 2011 run does stand out.”
Loud is different from active, but Seahawks fans have scored a record there as well. One fan posted a photo showing that fan screams had registered 137.6 decibels – louder than the noise of a jet engine from 100 feet away.