Breathing Earth
Earth Breath
Earth Breath [2:03 · download]


In this clip we hear a swarm of Indonesian earthquakes as recorded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (left channel) and Tennant Creek, Australia (right). The recording has been speeded up by 245 times.

Many of these quakes are large enough to set the planet “ringing” in its natural modes of vibration. One the most fundamental of these modes is the so-called “breathing” mode (0S0), in which the entire planet expands and contracts rhythmically once about every 20 minutes. I’ve speeded up the recording to bring this “breathing” mode in synch with the average human respiration rate (once every 5 seconds). So, as you listen to these sounds of the Earth, know that your breath rises and falls, along with the rising and falling of the Earth itself.

As heard on
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All Things Considered

Technical note

Time-acceleration = ×245 (1 second = ~4 minutes Earth time; this 2-minute recording captures about 8 hours of real Earth time).