Japanese earthquake brings out a stupid ‘supermoon’ theory

It never fails, a catastrophe happens and the brain-dead loopy as wet noodles contingent comes out from the woodwork.

There is a theory going around that the 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011 is the result of a ‘supermoon’, which apparently refers to the coming moon’s perigee, or when the moon reaches its closest point to the earth.

The argument being that during this time of the moon’s unusual closeness to the earth we would experience more and more natural disasters because of the moon’s effect on our gravity.

Phil Plait from Bad Astromony had this to say about the supermoon silliness:

Study after study has shown that big earthquakes are not caused by the Moon, super or otherwise. It would make some sort of sense to think that maybe there is a connection, since the Moon pulls on the Earth, and the majority of earthquakes are caused by tectonic plates slipping past or under each other. However, you can look at the timing of earthquakes versus the distance (and phase) of the Moon, and at best there is a weak correlation between shallow, low intensity quakes and the Moon… and certainly none with major quakes.

Think about it: if there were some connection, and it were this obvious, geologists and seismologists would be issuing warnings every perigee and every full Moon. These are people who have devoted their lives to understanding how the Earth shakes, and would be screaming their heads off if it were something as easy and obvious as the Moon. They don’t because there’s no connection.

So take that you nut-bars, back to the woodwork with you.

image via Gizmodo

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