No, Swifties Did Not Cause an Earthquake in Seattle

Port of Seattle and Mt. Rainier
Evening shot of Port of Seattle and Mt. Rainier in the distance. Motion blur on middle ferry boat from long exposure. Shot with Canon 1Ds MkII.
Photo Credit/ Getty Images

The Claim

In Seattle, on July 22, 2022, Taylor Swift had her first show in Seattle, Washington since 2018. Her fans called “Swifties” flooded Lumen Field; it is estimated that there were a total of 70,000 people present that night. It got so loud while singing ‘Shake It Off’ that the singing by Swift and her fans caused a seismograph to go off recording it as an earthquake.

Who’s Behind the Information

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach was the seismologist that investigated this occurrence and once this information was released it spread like wildfire through social media platforms claiming that Taylor Swift had caused an earthquake, but that is not exactly what happened.

Taylor Swift released her first album at 16 and quickly grew very popular and over her 17 years of performing has become one of the most popular pop stars of all time. She has just recently broken another record with her new revised album ‘1989’ setting a record for the most-played artist on a single day, on just one platform. Her recent “Eras Tour ” was so popular that some of the tickets were sold for over 1,000 dollars. Many were even over that. Fans who wouldn’t pay the huge ticket price would stand outside of the concert singing and dancing along with the music.

Look Into the Evidence and Experts

Due to the Swifites being so loud that night, it caused a seismometer to go off and read the eruption of noise as an earthquake. It was read with a magnitude of 2.3, Jackie Caplan-Auerbach recorded . She found that not only on July 22 but on July 23 the same thing happened with a 2.3 magnitude, but what was confusing was that they were 30 minutes apart. She first began to investigate the set list and while asking sources found out that on the second day, there was a 30-minute delay at the beginning of the concert. when Jackie put the data next to each other they appeared almost completely identical.

A comparable instance to this is the ‘Beast Quake’ that happened in January 2011 during a Seahawk football game. Toward the end of the game, the Seahawks running back got the ball ran 67 yards, and made a touchdown. The crowd roared in excitement and this caused a seismometer to go off, reading a magnitude of 2.0. 

Even if the “Swift Quake” and “Beast Quake” were actual earthquakes and didnt just trigger the siesometer you still could not have felt it. Any earthquake with a magnitude lower than 2.5 cannot be felt by individuals nor can this magnitude cause damage.

Seismometoglist Jackie Caplan-Auerback. Twitter @geophysicchick

Seismometers can record any type of sound that is just loud enough for it to register. Everyday things like cars, trains, and even sometimes wind. So a combination of the speakers, singing, dancing, and overall crowd, caused the semester to be triggered.

Our Rating

Needs Context. While the claim that Swifties caused an earthquake is satire, the concert’s noise level caused the seismograph to go off which is a widespread occurrence. Once it was released to the media that the seismograph was set off, people warped the real information and made it seem like there was an actual earthquake that happened.


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About the Contributor
Casey Joyce
Casey Joyce, Staff Reporter
I am a sophomore at Regina Dominican. This is my first year as a reporter for The Crown. I am also involved with the Ambassadors Club, Alliance Club, and Sophomore Leadership Board. In my free time, I like to go out with friends and play the electric bass guitar. In college, I plan to study  Biomedical Engineering.  A fun fact about me is that I love honey buns.

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