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Sat, 23 Jul 2016
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Earth Changes


Whale found dead on beach in Dominican Republic

A whale around 15 meters long was found dead Sunday at a beach between the towns Las Merceditas and Los Blancos, near Enriquillo, on the coast of Barahona (southwest).

People who found the whale carcass immediately contacted the authorities of the town, drawing dozens of onlookers to the beach.

The type of whale and how it died are unknown thus far, for which the Environment Ministry was called in to determine the cause.

However most locals agree that the whale could've asphyxiated under its own weight after being beached.

© elnuevodiario.com.do


Starved seabirds found dead on Washington beaches

© Cliff Brown/KUOW
A rhinoceros auklet found dead at Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge.
Seabirds have been washing up dead on beaches in Washington and British Columbia this summer. Something is taking a toll on a funny-sounding, peculiar-looking seabird.

Julia Parrish studies seabirds at the University of Washington. She says volunteer beach-watchers on the Olympic Peninsula and across the water in Victoria have seen dozens of auklets wash up dead.

A few of the bodies have been sent off to a federal forensics lab.

"These birds are severely emaciated. So they starved to death," Parrish said.

But scientists don't know yet why the birds starved. They're working to answer that question.

Cloud Lightning

House hit twice by lightning moments apart near Bend, Oregon

They say lightning never strikes in the same place twice, but one couple who live in the Alfalfa area east of Bend said their house was hit by lightning twice Monday morning.

"It hit twice, almost simultaneously," said ersident Kathy Nash.

She said the storm started around 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, and at 8 a.m. lightning hit their home twice.

Kathy was inside and her husband Randy was in the yard when the storm hit.

"I was on the way back in through the barnyard when the first lightning hit, and it was right there above my head," Randy Nash said. "You could actually hear the crackling of the bolt and the thunder at the same time.".

Kathy said she knew something unusual was about to happen because her dog started acting up.


Loud explosion reported over north Oxfordshire, UK

© Tom Bastin via Flickr
We've had a couple of enquiries from viewers about a loud bang over Oxfordshire on Saturday evening. We're trying to get to the bottom of it but did you hear it?

Becca Myram contacted to say ' Last night, late evening about 9pm there was an incredibly loud bang over north Oxfordshire. I live just outside Banbury on the Stratford on Avon side. 'Bang was like an explosion or whip cracking, I thought something had landed on the conservatory roof but it was just a sound. Was it a sonic boom?'

Well, we're trying to get to the bottom of it- but please leave us a message on our Facebook page if you have the answer!

Comment: Possible overhead comet/asteroid explosion?

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake swarm hits central California

USGS Earthquake map.
Central California is currently in the middle of an earthquake swarm, with up to 18 (and counting) tiny quakes shaking things up over the course of a single day. The situation is not, however, as ominous as it may seem.

KTLA reported that the quakes began in the Bay Area late last night and have continued through today. With nothing larger than a magnitude of 3.7, all of the quakes have been relatively small. But should the rising tally give alarm? Probably not. Central California is just in the middle of a run-of-the-mill earthquake swarm.

The precise mechanics of what sets an earthquake swarm off aren't clear, but they're pretty common in geologically active areas. The USGS defines them as simply a bunch of small earthquakes clustered around the same locale and time. There's no set limits for either the time or area. In fact, the quakes in a swarm don't even need to stem from the same fault lines.

Is a swarm a sign of something bigger on its way, though? Probably not. Although the question of whether swarms are a precursor to something larger is often asked, there's no evidence linking them directly to larger quakes or eruptions so far. In fact, they usually just pop up in geologically-active areas and then just stop without incident.

Yellowstone National Park, for instance, is famous for being hit by regular earthquake swarms, including large ones in 2004, 2009, and again in 2010. The swarm in 2010 lasted for over a month and included more than 2,000 earthquakes over that period, several with a magnitude of over 3.0.

Despite how much bigger and longer that swarm was than California's current on-going one, residents of the state should be comforted to know that Yellowstorm's 2010 swarm simply petered out on its own, with no larger quake or event at the end.

Bizarro Earth

July 16th earthquake off Florida's coast is a rare event

A 3.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Florida on July 16, 2016.
An earthquake struck off the coast of Florida on Saturday (July 16), a rare event in a relatively tectonically peaceful region.

The 3.7-magnitude quake had an epicenter that was 104 miles (168 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It hit at about 4 p.m. local time and originated at a depth of about 3 miles (5 km). According to the USGS ShakeMap, some weak tremors were reported and picked up by scientific instruments on the mainland, but the quake was too weak to cause any damage.

Earthquakes are rare in Florida, and the reason for the relative peace has to do with Florida's position on the North American plate. The state sits on the passive margin of the plate, a transition from land to ocean that isn't seismically active. In contrast, the western end of the North American plate — the active margin — is slipping under the Pacific Plate, triggering the medium-to-large earthquakes that are commonly experienced in California.

According to the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), there have only been about 24 "seismic events" reported since 1727. A 1997 review suggested that only five were actual earthquakes.


Mystery 'sonic boom-like' noises heard in Anglesey, Wales

© Richard Bowden/Loop Images/Corbis
Anglesey, Wales
People on the island have reported a number of loud noises in recent days

Mystery surrounds a loud "sonic boom-like" noise heard on Anglesey in recent days. On Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, a booming sound was reported around Holyhead but there has been no official explanation.

One homeowner even said the noise was so loud that their house shook. There has been no official seismic activity recorded, and officials at RAF Valley say no aircraft have been flying which would create a sonic boom.

At 4.45pm on Thursday, Csirke Szurdok said: "Did anyone hear a very loud boom five minutes ago, and one yesterday same time Holyhead?" Another Holyhead resident said they heard two loud noises.

He said: "I was just sat in the back garden and heard two massive booms. It was loud. Birds went nuts." On Wednesday, another Anglesey resident wrote on Twitter: "Any reports of an earthquake on Anglesey? Heard and felt in Llanfechell about 30 minutes ago."

Kat Kinglsey-Hughes, who lives nearby, replied: "We heard two. The first one we heard was followed by a jet coming in off the coast."


Wild boar attacks sunbathers on beach in Karwia, Poland

This is the moment an enraged wild boar (pictured) charged at sunbathers relaxing on a beach after it emerged from a nearby forest in Karwia, northern Poland
This is the moment an enraged wild boar charged at sunbathers relaxing on a beach after it emerged from a nearby forest.

Incredible footage showed the beast knocking people over their chairs and sand castles before taking down nearby women and children.

The animal appeared to be on a rampage, even chasing panicked tourists into the sea at the beach in Karwia, northern Poland.

The animal appeared to be on a rampage, even chasing panicked tourists into the sea at the beach
Various video excerpts on social media show the wild animal charging at people and tipping them over their wind blockers.


Dead beaked whale found in Basco, Philippines

© Bfar PO Basco
Dead beaked whale
The carcass of a beaked whale was found on the shore in Basco, Batanes, the office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the province has reported.

The beaked whale was found by some residents at around 8 a.m. on Friday, GMA News' Unang Balita reported on Monday.

According to BFAR, the beaked whale sustained stabbed wounds in different parts of the body, mostly in the ventral region, or the abdomen area.

The bureau also noted that there is an estimated 20-25 kilograms of missing flesh in the dorsal area, or the back portion of the beaked whale.

The authorities tried to perform further examination on the carcass but was unable to do so because of the early decomposition of the dead beaked whale.


Dead fish wash up on Okaloosa Island, Florida

© Michael Ledford
Dead fish on Okaloosa Island
Michael Ledford walked the beach Saturday morning like he does every morning at 5 a.m. to pick up trash and take photos of the sunrise.

Recently he has been taking photos of dead fish that have washed up onto the beach.

"It's like it happened overnight," Ledford said about Saturday morning's dead fish.

The fish were all mostly small, and there were some pompano mixed in as well, he said.

The Daily News published a story earlier this week addressing the dead fish issue.

Bekah Nelson, spokeswoman for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said in that story that the agency took samples earlier in the week but did not find any blooms.

Some fish kills are the result of natural events.