Tsunami at the full moon?
Repeated attempts have been made creating a connection between lunar phases and natural disasters. To our knowledge, it has not been possible so far, to establish nor prove a causal link. Of particular note is the well known earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, which happened at the full moon. Was this a coincidence? Were there other tsunamis that occurred during a full moon?
A tsunami is a large water wave that is usually triggered by seaquakes or by large landslides slipping into the ocean. Such waves are initially flat in the deep water, but move as fast as an airplane and turn into towering waves in shallow coastal areas, with heights of up to 55 yards or more. The resulting power of destruction has a catastrophic impact and claims thousands of human lives.
When examining the connection to the Moon, one initially thinks of the tides, which are known to be caused by the Moon. Furthermore, there are so called spring tides, at the full moon or at the new moon (opposition or conjunction Sun and Moon), which can cause tidal waves in the region of a river mouth. This phenomenon, however, is not enough to create a tsunami. And there is no connection between earthquakes and the Moon.
Assuming that there is NO link between the full moon and a tsunami, the probability that such an incident occurs COINCIDENTALLY at the full moon (+/– 12 hours), is approximately 3.4 % (thus 1 divided by 29.5 days of the lunar cycle). If we expand this time period to +/– 24 hours around the full moon, the chance probability would be 6.8 % (thus 2 divided by 29.5 days).
We have found a total of 22 large, documented tsunami disasters between 1905 and 2011. In statistical terms, not one of these incidents should have occurred +/– 12 hours around the full moon (3.4 % times 22 = 0.75 incident) and only about 1.5 incidents +/– 24 hours around the full moon (6.8 % times 22). But there was one catastrophe only with 1 hour time difference to the full moon and in total 4 catastrophes in the time period of +/– 24 hours, which would equal a hit rate of 18.2 % … remarkable, on the basis of 6.8 % chance probability!
Tsunami Solomon Islands
Earthquake 01.04.2007, 8:39 pm (UTC)
Full moon 02.04.2007, 5:15 pm (UTC)
Difference approx. 20.6 hours
Tsunami Indian Ocean
Earthquake: 26.12.2004, 12:58 am (UTC)
Full moon: 26.12.2004, 3:06 pm (UTC)
Difference approx. 14.1 hours
Earthquake: 26.05.1983, 3:00 am (UTC)
Full moon: 26.05.1983, 6:47 pm (UTC)
Difference approx. 15.8 hours
Tsunami Alaska (»Good Friday Earthquake«)
Earthquake: 28.03.1964, 3:36 am (UTC)
Full moon: 28.03.1964, 2:48 am (UTC)
Difference approx. 0.8 hours
Now, it would require a statistics expert to tell us, how such a high hit rate could be explained and whether this is significant to consider a link between tsunamis and the full moon. If someone happens to read this and is able to contribute, please feel free to make a post in the comment section below.
Apart from the huge toll of human casualties and fateful cuts into the lives of so many people, there are also geophysical consequences due to these gigantic quakes. Scientists from NASA discovered that because of the moving earth masses during the quake in 2004, the length of the days has been reduced by 2.68 micro seconds. In addition, there was a shift in the Earth’s axis of almost 1 inch. 15 smaller islands of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands sank because of the shift of the tectonic plates.
Let’s hope that we will all be spared of the effects of such disasters in the future. Fortunately, the early warning systems are continuously improving …
Man will get what he deserves.
Though majority of the invisible matrix is now spirit, media does not broadcast any truth. I invoke Father YAHWEH, the Almighty Creator to bring upon destruction of every evil. Only then we will have a new Earth. Spirit of the Moon is extremely powerful. So be it.
Woah, yes I agree with some of what you’re saying – but it’s kind of extreme, no?
God does not impose destruction. He His Defender. In actual fact, we are about to merge with another Galaxy and each Galaxy will not permit the merger between another if it is tainted by selfishness, greed and evol (twisted Love spelt backwards see!). Therefore, humans will be tested to see if their faith in Love is worthy enough. All your fears will be presented to you, but if your only fear is for Love and its preservation that demon will turn into a star and become your friend.
Coincidence is not proof of correlation.
A small sample (100 years) can create false correlations that appear to be significant when they aren’t, and false correlations can result from flawed methods of collecting and processing data.
Example: Starting with the end of World War II, if you plot the number of storks spotted in Berlin each year vs. the number of babies being born during the same time period there is a very close correlation. However, we adults know that storks don’t bring babies to new mothers. This is a false correlation. If you are a child and shown the chart, you believe the data shows that storks bring babies. The problem with statistics is that it is easy to jump to conclusions due to false correlations. Methods to test the data to remove false correlations are necessary to arrive at the correct answers.
Oftentimes the biases of the researcher will creep into the calculations. If you are looking for a correlation, you may inadvertently exclude important data that would provide you with accurate results. In the above example the number of new houses with chimneys was left out of the calculations. The true correlation was the number of chimneys and the number of storks in the area. Storks like to build nests in chimneys. Build more chimneys, you end up with more storks.
The relationship your data implies is gravity (tidal forces). At the full moon the Sun, Earth and moon are aligned. To test for gravitational effects, you have to examine the data at the extreme points because that is when maximum tidal stress is induced in the Earth. How many earthquake generated tsunamis are associated with King tides? You also have to test at minimum points of stress to see if the minimizing of tidal forces has an effect on the number of earthquake triggered tsunamis.
Other alignments also occur, at the new moon, and at repeating times when the moon is slightly closer to the Earth than usual due to it’s orbit. How many earthquake generated tsunamis occur at the same time as the moon is at full moon or new moon and also at it’s closest point in it’s orbit?
More data is needed to crunch the numbers.
Your calculations appear to be a false correlation.
Thank you very much, Oscar for this brilliant explanation! We were expecting that and did not believe in a correlation. Too many studies about the full moon and its effects have been made with no evidence. Nevertheless this high rate feels like something special. Will be interesting to search for the “chimneys” 😉 … but tidal forces could probably not cause earthquakes.
It’s actually a very complex issue to conduct a statistical analysis.
Sample points also comes into play. As a general rule you need a minimum of 400 sample points to begin to have useful data.
I used to teach “quality control” teams how to run quality projects at the company I worked for. The chart I had for the storks and babies always triggered a laugh.
The training was part of Six Sigma methodologies. Google Six Sigma for more info.
I forgot to thank you for the notices. They are excellent reminders of the approaching full moon. I and several friends always get together to go kayaking under the full moon. It is a surreal experience, and quite enjoyable.
Thank you once again, Osacar for taking the time to explain that. Much appreciated!
By the way: Did you think about linking the chimneys directly with the babies? Isn’t there a good chance for families to grow when they have more comfort in their homes? 😉
Actually yes. I would have the trainees crunch the data several different ways to show the false correlations and the valid ones. There is also a surprisingly strong correlation between population growth, chimneys, and storks.
Here is a good full moon challenge in photography. Photograph the full moon with a strong foreground object (like a building, mountain, tree, etc.) in the frame and have them both correctly exposed so that there is detail in the moon and detail in the foreground object. When I’m not kayaking under the moon I’m always shooting another full moon. This exercise will really help you master photography. Working with the dynamic range of the two subjects is the challenge.
Yep, I agree with all your points. But equally, remember to treasure your anomalies. The jury is still out. This article may not be the right answer, and does not probe such incidences with enough scientific rigour, but it is not reason enough to rule out all the correlations identified made by the author however tenuous. The best scientists simply say, ‘I don’t know, but hopefully we will know at some point with certainty’ 🙂
There is no such thing as a coincidence, everything happens for a reason.
If everything happens for a reason, then that means it is “destined” and that also means there is no such thing as “free will”.
Water boils because it’s been heated – there’s the reason.
A plant dies because it’s old – there’s the reason.
I’m writing this because I want to – there’s the reason.
Everything happens for a reason, but that doesn’t make it destiny.
Amazing understanding and ideas! Yes, everything does happen for a reason, but we are guided into situations where we must make a choice. Free will is absolutely sacred. No one can see the future – not even God – although it can be predicted terribly accurately. In theory, physicists explain that time travel is possible. Thus one whose time is dictated by the outer cusp of the big bang and wields superior knowledge of the laws of physics may time travel into the past, then back to the present, but not into the future beyond the Big Bang bubble. When someone has a premonition, they only see a single scenario. A true mystic would see at least two distinct scenarios and many more in between. For example, I predict the apocalypse, but I also predict the return of the Garden of Eden! Have no doubt, free will is sacred. What point would there be to life if it was all already written down before you lived it?