CBC Digital Archives

Earthquakes and Tsunamis: UFOs and earthquakes

Beneath our feet, Canada is constantly atremble. Earthquakes shake the country about 2,500 times per year, most too small to feel. But occasionally, and without warning, the earth's crust below Canada buckles and spasms to frightening effect. More dangerous are the tsunamis that such quakes can cause. CBC Archives looks back at notable Canadian quakes, fears about "the big one" predicted for the West Coast and scientists' efforts to better understand the threat from below.

When the earth shakes, peculiar things can happen to your mind, says Prof. Michael Persinger in this CBC Radio interview. Immediately before an earthquake, incidents of strange phenomena are often reported. Some people claim to see luminous ghosts and darting UFOs while others describe paralysis and intense feelings of foreboding. But, Persinger dismisses claims of the supernatural. He explains that electrical field currents generated by the pressure under the shifting earth can cause our bodies and minds to respond in surprising ways. 
• According to Japanese folklore, a giant catfish who lived beneath the earth would cause earthquakes by shaking about rapidly. The god Kashima placed a magic rock over the catfish to keep the catfish still. But from time to time the catfish would slip out from under the rock to wreak havoc.
• Chinese mythology held that the world rested on the back of a massive frog who twitched and shuddered from time to time, causing earthquakes.

• In ancient Hindu folklore eight strong elephants were believed to carry the world on their backs. When one of the animals grew tired it would lower and jostle its head and the earth would begin to shake.
• In North American mythology an Indian god named El Diablo tore up the earth when surfacing to the earth.
Medium: Radio
Program: Sunday Morning
Broadcast Date: Sept. 29, 1985
Guest(s): Don Anderson, Bogue Babicki, Mel Blaney, Adam Geraghty, David Vogt
Host: Barbara Smith
Reporter: Phil Menger
Duration: 7:42

Last updated: March 19, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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