In a story likely to go down in rock and roll history,* the Foo Fighters and fans in Auckland, New Zealand generated so much pure head banging glory the earth literally moved under their feet. Seismometers in the region started recording distinct "shakes" as soon as the Foos took the stage Tuesday night.
According to the Auckland-based blog GeoNet, the tremors resembled volcanic rumblings recorded at well known volcanic hot spots Mt. Ruapehu and White Island. But scientists quickly figured out the tremors were man made.
First, only the tracking stations located 0.9 miles and 1.2 miles from the gig recorded any activity. Second, the strong correlation in the time of the shakes and the time of the show tell the tale. The "biggest shakes" were registered as the Foo Fighters went onstage at 8:20 PM.
Apparently, the gig looks as good on paper as one sounds in real life. The blog reports the show emitted a "strong, low signal."
And in a quite lyrical yet scientific explanation the GeoNet further explained, "The concert vibrations were recorded as a semi continuous harmonic signal with a peak osculation of 3Hz (Hertz); in other words the ground was shaking 3 times per second in a nice rhythmic motion."
It sounds like the Foo Fighters might have some new fans.
Most Foo Fighter fans don't really need an explanation for why this phenomenon occurred. But scientists, even newly converted fans, are very thorough by nature so they've provided us with one. "The cause of the shaking is most likely the weight of the 50,000 fans dancing, as 50,000 fans is equal to around 5,000 tons of mass moving (or moshing) on the ground."
Not to quibble with scientists, but I'd also argue the Foo's sound set up might have contributed as well.
Apparently the phenomenon happened in the area only once before — during the Rugby World Cup Finals. Perhaps the Kiwis just know how to party!
*This also goes down in my history books for getting to write about the Foo Fighters and earthquakes at the same time. Science+tunes = Good day!