Humans Are Weird

So there has been a bit of “what if humans were the weird ones?” going around tumblr at the moment and Earth Day got me thinking. Earth is a wonky place, the axis tilts, the orbit wobbles, and the ground spews molten rock for goodness sakes. What if what makes humans weird is just our capacity to survive? What if all the other life bearing planets are these mild, Mediterranean climates with no seasons, no tectonic plates, and no intense weather? 

What if several species (including humans) land on a world and the humans are all “SCORE! Earth like world! Let’s get exploring before we get out competed!” And the planet starts offing the other aliens right and left, electric storms, hypothermia, tornadoes and the humans are just … there… counting seconds between flashes, having snowball fights, and just surviving. 


Tsunamis are caused by energy originating underwater from a volcanic eruption, a submarine landslide, or, most commonly, an earthquake on the ocean floor.

1. For example, the tectonic plates of the Earth’s surface slip, releasing a massive amount of energy into the water. 2. This energy travels up to the surface, displacing water and raising it above the normal sea level.

3. Gravity pulls that energy back down.

4. As a result, the energy ripples outwards horizontally. Thus, the tsunami is born, moving at over 500 miles per hour.  

From the TED-Ed Lesson How tsunamis work - Alex Gendler

Animation by Augenblick Studios

This image shows Earth’s tectonic plates, and the location of earthquakes and volcanic activity along the plate boundaries. 

What causes earthquakes, and why are they so unpredictable? Seismic waves that pass through the planet hold the answer to these questions. Their patterns can reveal hidden dynamics—hotspots, deep-diving rock, melting mantle—in Earth’s interior. 

Watch a video featuring the group that is installing seismometers across the United States, and check out our SeismoDome event, happening tonight in the Hayden Planetarium.

This was over before it started.
The fault lines should have warned us,
but we stepped around them.
Do you understand Pangaea now?
How land masses that fit so perfectly
can float away until they are different continents
with different languages?
You probably don’t remember that this
almost worked out.
But it just had to happen this way.
Tell me,
do you believe in poetry yet?
Is it because you are tasting it in someone else’s mouth?
Don’t answer that.
I am sending this message in a bottle,
and I don’t want it to reach you.
It wouldn’t be fair
to let you think you can still choose.
This is just for me,
so I can know how horrible this
all sounds out loud.
For the record, it’s not good.
But the parts of me that held on to you
will erode away soon,
and I will stop reaching for them.
Some earthquakes will still remind me
of all that was lost,
but I am willing to shake my bones if it means
getting you out of my blood.
—  Y.Z, Tectonic plates