The Mexico earthquakes may have something to do with a strange phenomenon in which a road appears to breathe in and out.
Video footage of the “breathing” road has appeared online and is making the rounds. In the video, a patch of the asphalt road rises up and down as though it were the chest of a large cement animal taking big, heaving breaths. The footage was taken on September 19, 2017, right around the time that the 7.1 earthquake began. Rigoberto Lechuga Silva, the man that took the video, ran out to the street when the tremors began. He managed to take a video of the “breathing” road, which he then posted on YouTube.
This isn't the first unsettling phenomenon that has taken place in relation to the Mexico earthquakes. During the 8.1 magnitude earthquake, strange flashes of light appeared in the skies over Mexico. Scientists have given explanations for earthquake lights, but what do they have to say about breathing roads?
The aftermath of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake [Photo by Rebecca Blackwell / AP]
According to geophysicist Mika McKinnon, strange events around the time of large earthquakes aren't uncommon. McKinnon also said that the geology of the region may be to blame for the breathing roads. Mexico City is built on what used to be a lake bed. This means that the soil the city is sitting on is quite soft. Because of this, the earthquakes that rocked the country had a much worse effect. McKinnon says that the earthquake also caused something called liquefaction to happen in the soft soil.
Liquefaction refers to the tendency of water-saturated sand and silt to behave like a liquid when an earthquake strikes.
When the Spaniards invaded the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, they drained the marshes in the area. Thus, the city is now sitting on loose sediment. When an earthquake takes place, the sediment undergoes liquefaction. Because of this, the Mexico earthquakes dealt a lot of damage on the country's capital. According to USGS seismologist Susan Hough, liquefaction also led to the road in the video footage appearing to breathe.
However, for now, these explanations are basically speculation. It's likely that we'll get definite answers once Mexican authorities get the chance to look at the ground underneath Mexico City.
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