Taylor Swift’s fans are known for their enthusiastic support, but they recently took their fandom to a whole new level. During the Seattle leg of Swift’s “Eras” tour, the collective energy of the fans dancing and cheering caused seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake.
The phenomenon, now dubbed the “Swift Quake,” has drawn comparisons to the 2011 “Beast Quake.” The latter event occurred when Seattle Seahawks fans celebrated a remarkable touchdown by Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, causing detectable seismic activity. Intriguingly, the same local seismometer picked up both the “Beast Quake” and the “Swift Quake.”
Caplan-Auerbach, a geology professor at Western Washington University, noticed the similarity between the two events in a Facebook group she moderates. She analyzed the data from both nights of Swift’s concert and found strikingly identical patterns. The only significant difference between the two shows was a delay of approximately 26 minutes on the second night.
Despite the “Beast Quake” and “Swift Quake” being close in magnitude, Caplan-Auerbach noted that the Swifties’ seismic impact was twice as strong. The key difference, she explained, lies in the duration of the shaking. While cheering after a touchdown is brief and sporadic, a concert’s rhythmic energy can persistently resonate with the ground, causing sustained shaking.
Caplan-Auerbach, while intrigued by the prospect of becoming a Swiftie herself, is primarily excited about the opportunity to make science more accessible. She believes that such real-world observations and experiences are a testament to the omnipresence of science.
CNN’s Chloe Melas, who attended one of the Seattle concerts, echoed the seismic sentiment, describing the ground-shaking experience as unlike anything she had ever felt before. Even Swift acknowledged the extraordinary energy of her West Coast Swifties in an Instagram post, thanking them for their enthusiastic participation.
As Swift’s “Eras” tour continues, it’s not just the earth that’s shaking. The singer has been lauded for boosting local economies and breaking attendance records, proving that her impact extends far beyond the concert stage.