- LONDON (Reuters) - Around
one million British school children succeeding in causing an earthquake
on Friday, jumping up and down simultaneously in the world's largest scientific
- Thousands of schools around Britain were asked to send
children out into the playgrounds at 11 a.m. (6:00 a.m. EDT) to jump up
and down for a minute in the hope of creating a measurable quake.
- Organizers of the Giant Jump event, held to mark the
launch of the government's Science Year, said it had been a success.
- ``We're almost sure we had a million people out there
jumping for us. We got some kind of result at every single seismometer
around the country,'' Nigel Pain, director of Science Year, told Reuters.
- ``We generated something like a hundredth of a serious
earthquake -- that's not an enormous amount of energy but it's significant.''
- The exact number of people taking part would have to
be verified, but he said it was an unofficial world record.
- Early estimates suggested 75,000 tons of energy had been
released during the minute of jumping.
- ``Because it's dissipated across the whole country it
didn't do very much damage. But drop that in one spot and it would have
caused quite a big hole in the ground,'' he added.
- Over the next two weeks the results from around the country
will be analyzed to see if the event registered on the Richter scale.
- Scientists said a million children with an average weight
of 110 lbs. jumping 20 times in a minute would release two billion joules
of energy and trigger the equivalent of an earthquake measuring three on
the Richter scale.
- The event has also attracted serious attention from scientists
including the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), which maintains Britain's
- Fortunately the world didn't split in two as one of the
children surveyed before the event believed would happen, nor did the Earth
leave the Sun's orbit as feared by another.
- A third came up with a more likely, if less exciting
- ``There will be lots of hospital visits from people with