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Swifties Set Off Another ‘Swift Quake’ During Taylor Swift’s Shows in Edinburgh

The accent might be a bit different, but the one thing Scottish Swifties have in common with their American brethren and sistren is that they make the earth move under their feet. The British Geological Survey reported this week that seismometers around Edinburgh were triggered after mega-hyped fans at Taylor Swift‘s three Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium shows (June 7-9) last weekend registered earthquake readings up to four miles from the venue.

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“BGS monitoring stations around Edinburgh recorded seismic activity generated by the concerts,” read a post from the country’s national earthquake monitoring agency. “Each of the three evenings followed a similar seismographic pattern, with ‘…Ready For It?’ ‘Cruel Summer’ and ‘champagne problems’ resulting in the most significant seismic activity each night.”

A more careful analysis of the seismograph data found that the most enthusiastic dancing took place on Friday night, though the BGS noted that “crowds on each night generated their own significant readings.” Not to worry, the scientists noted, “Whilst the events were detected by sensitive scientific instruments designed to identify even the most minute seismic activity many kilometres away, the vibrations generated by the concert were unlikely to have been felt by anyone other that those in the immediate vicinity.”‘

Some relevant data points from the BGS:

  • The activity was mainly generated by fans dancing in time to the music and reached its peak at 160 beats per minute (bpm) during “Ready For It?,” where the crowd was transmitting approximately 80 kW of power (equivalent to around 10 to 16 car batteries).
  • Based on the maximum amplitude of motion (the distance the ground moves), the Friday night event was the most energetic by a small margin, recording 23.4 nanometres (nm) of movement, versus 22.8 nm and 23.3 nm on the Saturday and Sunday respectively.
  • The BGS’s national network of monitoring stations recored as many as 300 naturally occurring earthquakes every year in the UK, with only 30 having a high enough magnitude to be felt by people. “Induced seismic events,” caused by human activity such as sonic booms, are also recorded.

The Scottish temblors followed on the heels of previous seis-Swift events in Seattle last July and in Los Angeles two months later. The earth shaking Friday show in Edinburgh also broke an attendance recording for Scotland, drawing more than 73,000, with Saturday and Sunday night’s gigs respectively upping the ante. The third gig set yet another all-time high, with Swift telling the crowd, “It’s been shockingly amazing in Edinburgh because every night I got to go on stage and they pulled me aside and said, ‘You know this crowd broke the all-time stadium attendance record for all of Scotland for all of time.’” The singer said the three shows drew a total of 220,000 fans.

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