Scientists remain baffled as to providing a scientific explanation for mysterious seismic waves which traveled around the Earth. They still can’t figure out what caused the waves.
According to the report in the National Geographic, scientists detected the wobbles on Nov. 11 thanks to the sensors placed around the world. The mysterious seismic waves are thought to have originated from the French island of Mayotte which is located between Madagascar and Africa. Still, what’s confusing is that the waves were detected in Zambia and Kenya and then traveled as far as Canada, Chile, New Zealand and Hawaii. The mysterious seismic waves around Earth reached Hawaii at some 11, 000 miles away.
One person who was quick to spot the activity was an Earthquake enthusiast @mataripax who followed up with images of the seismic activity and posted them on Twitter.
— ******* Pax (@matarikipax) November 11, 2018
Even though the seismic waves lasted for roughly 20 minutes, no one has felt them in the form of an earthquake. It seems that only devices like the real-time seismogram in the US Geological survey detected them. Since no human felt them, scientists remained baffled, not being able to describe what caused them.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it,” Göran Ekström from Columbia University told National Geographic. “It doesn’t mean that, in the end, the cause of them is that exotic.”
The waves were moving slowly and measuring at low frequency and while traveling, they pulsated every 17 seconds as the event was taking place. Even though scientists haven’t yet confirmed what caused the wobbles, they have a few ideas which could explain the science behind the event.
“It’s like you have colored glasses and [are] just seeing red or something,” Anthony Lomax, an independent seismology consultant told National Geographic.
Since the wobbles are believed to originate from around the French island, The French Geological Survey (BRGM) took on the investigation of the mysterious seismic waves around Earth. They propose that the wobbles are the result of newly detected volcanic activity located near the coast of Mayotte. Other ideas include an earthquake which triggered the waves, or an eruption in the water.
“These observations therefore back up the hypothesis of a combination of tectonic and volcanic effects accounting for a geological phenomenon involving a seismic sequence and a volcanic phenomenon,” the BRGM said in a post.
“According to one analysis, this movement could be due to the emptying of a magma reservoir nearby, although additional research would be needed to verify this,” noted Science Alert.
Some ideas also point at the event which occurred earlier this year, when scientists detected a swarm of earthquakes close to the east coast of Mayotte. The earthquakes were so frequent that the land moved slightly. Nevertheless, this idea likely doesn’t suffice given that the seismic events don’t have the same characteristics as that of an earthquake.
Scientists plan to organize additional surveys which should help find out what caused the mysterious wobbles. Meanwhile, they will take a more careful look at the seismic data that’s available at the moment. Further measurements will hopefully reveal what is happening.