There are several videos going viral recently that feature the merits of so-called “earthquake beds,” “anti-earthquake beds,” or “earthquake-proof beds.” A Chinese inventor designed an earthquake bed, reports CBS Local, that is being called pretty extreme, even in earthquake-prone regions.
As seen in the below video with a demonstration of various earthquake bed designs, which has swelled to more than 550,000 views on YouTube, the earthquake beds fold into themselves — or turn into virtual earthquake-shielding cocoons. In the base of the earthquake-proof beds are plenty of bottles of bottled water, fire extinguishers, and other fare that should help preserve lives in the event of an earthquake until help arrives. However, some are calling the beds “earthquake coffins” that were designed by Wang Wenxi. The Chinese inventor gained the epiphany for the earthquake bed after major quakes in Wenchuan and Yushu caused buildings to collapse.
USGS data that shows major or significant earthquakes around the world prove that a plethora of quakes greater than 4.0 on the Richter scale can happen anywhere on Earth at any given moment. The goal of the earthquake bed is to protect an otherwise vulnerable person or couple from falling debris or heavy concrete.
— CNN (@CNN) December 18, 2015
Critics of the earthquake beds have noted that the earthquake beds could turn into virtual ovens in the event of a fire that follows an earthquake.
“Quake and bake.”
Folks who are claustrophobic imagine being trapped inside the earthquake beds as a fate worse than instant death. Others wonder how the environment within an earthquake bed might pan out, with no bathrooms being available inside the earthquake bed after a couple is trapped therein. One commentator, however, noted that the same bottles that hold the bottled water could be used as a receptacle for urine and waste.
As reported by the USGS, an earthquake in Sumatra on December 26, 2004, claimed nearly 300,000 souls.
“This is the third largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake. In total, 227,898 people were killed or were missing and presumed dead and about 1.7 million people were displaced by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 14 countries in South Asia and East Africa. (In January 2005, the death toll was 286,000. In April 2005, Indonesia reduced its estimate for the number missing by over 50,000.)”
The fact that Wenxi’s earthquake bed “swallows” people when it senses the ground shaking, as reported by the Daily Mail, makes detractors wonder if a raunchy night of lovemaking would set off the earthquake bed inadvertently. Those are minor worries for those who’ve witnessed the devastation of real earthquakes.
According to the USGS, an earthquake on January 12, 2010, in the Haiti region claimed approximately 100,000 or more lives.
“According to official estimates, 316,000 people killed, 300,000 injured, 1.3 million displaced, 97,294 houses destroyed and 188,383 damaged in the Port-au-Prince area and in much of southern Haiti. Other estimates suggest substantially lower numbers of casualties, perhaps as low as fewer than 100,000.”
— chinadotcom_en (@chinadotcom_en) December 19, 2015
In most versions of the designs of the earthquake beds, the mattress drops into a safe chamber, or folds into such a chamber. Then a strong protective covering covers the earthquake bed occupants from falling debris, if not from other dangers such as flooding or fire.
The earthquake beds are being called a combination of a strong box and a Venus fly trap that closes in on the earthquake bed occupants. The problems arise when a person begins to imagine a couple trapped within the earthquake bed as they wait to be rescued. Thoughts of a man and woman conversing, panicking, praying, consoling, loving, and going through a range of emotions within the earthquake bed as they await being saved are the stuff that earthquake bed movies and books are made of.
[Image via YouTube/Dan Arrow]