Home / Learning / Science Topics / Earthquakes / Monitoring Earthquakes / Other earthquake questions / Does the Earth really ring like a bell after a big earthquake?

Does the Earth really ring like a bell after a big earthquake?

Seismic waves from the biggest earthquakes (over magnitude 8.3) can bounce around inside the earth for up to a month. This makes the earth "ring". However, you need special instruments to hear the ring because the tone is very low — about 1 cycle per hour. Compare this with the 256 cycles per second of middle C on the piano.

One of New Zealand's seismic stations

One of New Zealand's seismic stations