One of the deadliest forces of nature is the Tsunami. Tsunamis have the ability to destroy almost everything that come in their way. Unlike the volcanoes where fire, heat, magma and volcanic ash causes destruction, Tsunamis unleash the wrath of water. Yes, the same element of nature that supports life on Earth. Today, let us learn 47 interesting tsunami facts and understand how they work and what they are capable of.
Interesting Tsunami Facts: 1-10
1. Usually an earthquake is responsible for a Tsunami however, it can also be caused rapid and erratic changes in atmospheric pressure and even by volcanic eruptions. Thus, tsunami is not a standalone phenomenon. It is usually a byproduct of some other natural force.
2. While some people think that tsunami is a single big wave of water, it is not true. In fact, tsunami is composed of a series of waves, which is referred to as a ‘wave train‘. It is this wave train that causes repeated destruction, making tsunamis extremely dangerous.
3. Low-lying coastal areas are usually the worst hit areas when a tsunami strikes. Damage is usually contained within 250 km or 160 miles from the point of origin of a tsunami. Destruction befalls within 30 minutes from the time when the tsunami originates. If an earthquake is felt in a coastal area, it should be taken as a sign of incoming tsunami.
4. Apart from volcanoes, earthquakes and changes in atmospheric pressure, tsunamis can also be caused by meteor impact on oceans. Meteor impacts can lead to some of the most deadliest tsunamis with waves as high as 100 feet. Sometimes massive landslides can cause tsunamis.
5. The Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean is the most active zone for tsunamis. Nearly 80% of all tsunamis all around the world are from that region.
6. Nearly 99% of tsunami fatalities take place within 160 miles from the point of tsunami origin.
7. Underwater earthquakes will not always cause tsunamis. There are two types of underwater earthquakes. First is when two tectonic plates either slide against each other or split apart and the second one is when a lighter tectonic plate is forced above a heavier tectonic plate. The zone where this second type of tectonic plates movement takes place is known as subduction zone. This second type of tectonic plates movement leads to tsunami.
8. When a heavier tectonic plate moves underneath a lighter plate, the entire water column right above the subduction zone is displaced and causes tsunami.
9. Tsunamis are very frequent in the deepest parts of the oceans. However, those deep ocean tsunami waves are usually 1-3 feet tall and usually go unnoticed. Sailors may not even realize that tsunami waves are traveling beneath them.
10. The idea that tsunamis are caused by underwater earthquakes was first proposed by Thucydides in his book, ‘History of the Peloponnesian War’. Thucydides was a Greek historian who lived ca. 460-395 BCE.