College football, the great Saturday pastime, is popular all around the country. But in some places it’s so popular that it actually causes seismic activity.
Well, not the football games themselves. But the fans watching them. After Auburn’s win over (formerly) No. 1 ranked Alabama on Saturday, an electrical engineer named Steve Jones told Jeremy Henderson of Al.com that he detected a slight increase in seismic activity when the game ended.
“Yes,” says Steve Jones, “I saw a slight increase in ground noise on the seismograph starting a few minutes before 6:00 pm when the game ended, until about 6:15 pm or so.”
Jones uses a homemade seismometer to detect activity, and has been studying strange local phenomena for years. And while he can’t definitively say that the fans were the cause of the ground noise, it’s a decent bet. Jones lives in Heflin, Alabama, which is about 90 miles away from Jordan-Hare Stadium. That’s how insane the crowd was when Auburn’s win over ‘Bama became official.
What’s even more insane is that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Jones told Henderson that he detected increased ground noise on Nov. 11 when Auburn took down then-No. 1 ranked Georgia. And it also happened during the 2013 Iron Bowl, another (thrilling) Auburn victory.
Traditional seismic activity is the moving of the tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s surface, which is what can cause earthquakes. And while the crowd at the game didn’t actually cause an earthquake, they were most likely the cause of enough ground noise to register on Jones’ seismometer. So in a way, it was an incredibly tiny imperceptible man-made earthquake, caused by Auburn winning and ‘Bama losing.
And that’s pretty awesome. I mean, how many schools can say that their fans’ enthusiasm actually affects scientific instruments?
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