The audience that packed into Lumen Field across two nights caused record-breaking seismic activity
Taylor Swift’s Swifties have earned a reputation for breaking records, from streaming numbers to vinyl purchases — and after the singer’s recent Eras tour concerts in Seattle, they’ve added a seismic activity record to their list of accomplishments. According to seismologist Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, the audience that packed into Lumen Field across those two nights caused seismic activity that equates to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake.
The sold-out shows welcomed more than 70,000 fans each night. Caplan-Auerbach discovered the giant bump in movement when members of the Pacific Northwest earthquake group she moderates on Facebook pointed out the comparison between Swift’s show and the “Beast Quake.”
In 2011, Seahawks running back Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch made a touchdown that sent the crowd into a frenzy. That event registered as between a 1 and 2-magnitude earthquake.
“The shaking was twice as strong as ‘Beast Quake.’ It absolutely doubled it … The primary difference is the duration of shaking. Cheering after a touchdown lasts for a couple seconds, but eventually it dies down,” Caplan-Auerbach told CNN. “It’s much more random than a concert. For Taylor Swift, I collected about 10 hours of data where rhythm controlled the behavior. The music, the speakers, the beat. All that energy can drive into the ground and shake it.”
And the activity mirrored itself across the two nights, save for a half-hour delay between them. “I grabbed the data from both nights of the concert and quickly noticed they were clearly the same pattern of signals,” Caplan-Auerbach added. “If I overlay them on top of each other, they’re nearly identical.”