How Wikipedia defines an earthquake? An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves. Too confusing? Probably yes. Another definition of an earthquake, also known as tremor or quake, is any seismic event –whether natural or caused by humans– that generates seismic waves. Is it still too theoretical? Well, there are a lot more definitions that have tried to explain the Mother Nature’s fury. But these mythological theories about what earthquakes are and how are they caused will give you a little hint of what earthquakes actually are (not literally).
In earlier days, when there was no advent of science and technology and people used to believe in their socio-cultural theories to interpret calamities such as this (earthquake). Every faith or belief had their theory of nature’s fury before the terms seismic waves and tectonic plates were actually coined. We take a look at few mythologies that had have existed in the past:
1. Greek mythology
Known as ‘Earth Shaker’ in Greek mythology, Poseidon is believed to be the God of Earthquakes. As per the Greek mythology, when Poseidon was in a bad mood he would hit the earth with his trident. The powerful blow was the cause of the earthquake and other calamities. It is also believed that he caused earthquakes to inflict fear upon people as revenge.
2. Norse mythology
This may come as a surprise to you, but as per Norse mythology the reason for earthquakes was Loki – not Tom Hiddleston – God Loki. There is a short, interesting story behind the earthquakes in Norse mythology. When God of mischief and strife- Loki, murdered God of beauty and light- Baldr, he was chained in a cave with a snake-mounted above his head dripping venom. Loki’s wife stood with a bowl to catch the poison, but whenever she emptied the bowl, the poison dripped on Loki’s face that forced him to shake his head away. This shaking of the head away and thrashing against his bonds caused an earthquake.
3. Indian Mythology
As per the Indian mythology, the earth rests on the back of a tortoise. It is believed that the tortoise’s foot movement resulted in the earthquake. The belief suggests that as a result of tortoise switching the foot on which he stands, when weary, the slight movement causes the mighty earthquake.
4. Japanese Mythology
If tortoise in Indian mythology wasn’t enough, the catfish is here. As per Japanese mythology, Namazu is a giant catfish that causes earthquakes. The big catfish lives beneath the earth in the mud and is guarded by God Kashima. It is when Kashima lets his guard down, Nazamu ventures out causing earthquakes.
On April 26, a high-magnitude earthquake measuring 7.9 on Richter scale in Nepal took more than 5,000 lives and left even more people injured. The epicentre of the horrendous earthquake was an ancient town of Lamjung in Kathmandu. The earthquake not only created havoc in the Himalayan nation but also shook large parts of northern and central India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took drastic steps to help its neighbouring nation, and the rescue operations were initiated in less than four hours. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “India will stand with Nepal in this hour of the need. India will provide full-fledged support to Nepal.”
A lot has happened in the last 72 hours, as Indian Army, Indian Air Force personnel collaborated their efforts with localities to put life back on track. We at India.com pray for people in Nepal and hope that the daily life is rehabilitated ASAP!