Sometimes, when you are walking on the ground, it starts to move all by itself. If the ground ever moves under you while you are standing still, this is known as an earthquake. The earth moves back and forth really fast and it can be very bad for some people. There are certain reasons why this happens and it is very helpful to understand why earthquakes happen sometimes.
Do you know those dinner plates you eat on for dinner? Put 2 dinner plates in front of you and then put one hand on each plate. Then, move the plates back and forth at the same time. This is what the Earth is doing all the time. When you walk, this is what the floor does every second you are walking. What if all of a sudden the plates did not go back and forth? Move both plates in different directions, but softly (as you do not want to break them!). Notice how they crashed into each other? You just caused an earthquake! The plates crashed and squeezed and stretched, causing you to crash them into each other. The Earth squeezes and stretches their plates underground too, which causes cracks to form and the ground to shake very, very fast. There is not much you can do about an earthquake, but get inside and stay close to an adult and you will be all right.
Step on a Crack…
Do you ever walk in the street and see those cracks in the road? Sometimes, the Earth put those cracks there all by itself. Those cracks, or faults, were made when rocks under your feet slide right past each other. If you took those same 2 dinner plates and slide one underneath the other, you just made a crack in the ground! The Earth is always doing something while you are walking or standing still and sometimes it puts a crack in the ground or shakes it really, really fast. Making cracks is something the Earth does all the time, and that is why some people say “step on a crack, break your mother’s back”. That will not really happen, but those cracks were put there as the ground was moving so fast that some people do fall down.
Fortunately, as long as you know about Earthquakes you can avoid them better than other people! It is important to know about Earthquakes and why they happen, and now you do!
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