Earthquake 10.5 is Bunk! Bunk! Bunk!

The TV miniseries Earthquake 10.5 is just airing in the UK. It is – bluntly – an unmitigated pile of shit. Interestingly if you search for it online, pretty much the first thing you get is a long page by earthquake experts explaining precisely why it’s total bunk:

Fiction: There can be a magnitude 10.5 earthquake
Fact: The magnitude of an earthquake is related to the length of the fault on which it occurs–the longer the fault, the larger the earthquake. In order to have a magnitude 10.5 earthquake you would have to have a fault that circles the Earth – no such fault exists.

Fiction: Thinking an earthquake is an aftershock because they couldn’t find an epicenter – all earthquakes have epicenters
Fact: Aftershocks ARE earthquakes!! The only difference is that they occur after a larger earthquake instead of by themselves.

Fiction: Nuclear explosions can “seal” faults
Fact: Nuclear explosions CANNOT seal faults. Earthquakes are part of a global tectonic process that generally occurs well beyond the influence or control of humans.

Additional Earthquake 10.5 fictions that are enough to drive you nuts:

  • An earthquake creates dust clouds visible on satellite radar
  • Using the term lateral skip
  • Earthquakes can cause trucks to sink in dirt, long after the earthquake happened
  • Scientists being able to successfully predict earthquakes over short time intervals
  • Plates conjoin at 324 feet below the earth’s surface
  • The magnitude of an earthquake in progress cannot decrease/stabilize
  • Water draining into the faultline
  • Fault opening at the ocean and water rushing up the fault

Now I know it’s churlish to expect entertainment to be completely accurate, but this is just a few things from a list of dozens! I’d like to think that people doing stuff like this had some grasp of what they were talking about, but evidently not…

18 replies on “Earthquake 10.5 is Bunk! Bunk! Bunk!”

The little logical fallacy that bugged me the most was the scene where the earthquake followed the Amtrak train.
Not like, “Hey, I’m an earthquake, and I just happen to be passing along this area where there’s a train.” But, “Hey, I’m an earthquake, and I’m going to follow this Amtrak train track until I catch up to this poor little Amtrak train and swallow it whole into the Earth.”
It was like a five minute chase scene! And at the end, the way they moved the camera down, it looked exactly like the Earth was closing back up after a job well done.

I only saw the first ten minutes or so because there’s only so much cheesiness I can take, including the train-chasing earthquake mentioned above and the “Cancel my meeting with the important foreign dignitary, because MY PEOPLE COME FIRST, DAMMIT!” President.

Bullshit unscientific gibberish, my friend! Sure there can be a 10.5 magnitude earthquake! The Richter scale has no upper limit, dammit!
[Well, theoretically speaking, it could never be greater than all energy in the universe, but still way beyond measly 10.5!]
Sure true, it’s NOT CURRENTLY possible on Earth since the crust is too weak to generate such quantities of energy, but it’s very possible on other planets and it may become possible on Earth in the distant future. (Side note: For universal terminology seism should be the word of choice.)

And, not specifying the scale, the magnitude figures say absolutely nothing. (I just presumed Richter’s.)

Forget about the bad science – what about the bad acting! Not to mention a script that must have won the clichÈ of the year award.
All in all it was so bad I enjoyed it. With any luck next week will spend it’s time culling the ghastly cast 🙂

The whole thing was just shit…. never seen such an appauling program. Also shouldn’t it be zoom 10.5? Did they actaully think the camera angles were good? These people seriously need to study geography and an acting school. Also lines like “You’re the best of the best” are the worst lines….. ever!

Everyone involved in this must have been on drugs or something, or else one of those bigass earthquakes knocked them all silly.
Writing: If you played the Drinking game, and looked for cliches during this sh*t, you would be off your arse sometime before the end of part one.
Acting: Poor in most cases, forced in others.
Directing: Someone just watched 24 and thought it would be cool to copy.
You can tell it’s bad when you laugh out loud at the sheer cr*pness of it.

i hope you’re not suggesting we can’t rely on hollywood to broaden our outlook and deepen our knowledge, yea our very understanding of and feeling of one-ness with this great wondrous gigantic all-encompassing universe we make movies in.
>[Fallacy:] # Earthquakes can cause trucks to sink in dirt, long after the earthquake happened
actually, this one could be real (haven’t seen the movie. don’t intend to). depends on the earthquake, but “liquefaction” after major earthquakes is fairly common.

>I have enabled a feature that allows your comments to be held for approval the first time you post a comment. I’ll approve your comment when convenient; there is no need to re-post your comment.
oh but i want to, i want to!

Just one more major thing wrong with this program, the whole basis for the plot line was impossible. The ‘super faults’ were said to be at 700km below the surface. Hmmm, only minor problem is that 700 km below the Earth is the MANTLE!!! Even as an AS Geography student, I know that the Mantle is made of liqiud and so cannot create friction!! But still, the best thing was them trying to fuse the fault lines by using nuclear warheads 200 ft below the surface, I just laughed!!

Pure escapism, good fun, not meant to be serious. people need to wise up and accept the movie for what it is, fantasy

If you really want to check up on what’s happening with earthquakes around the world, checkout this site I found the other day.
It’s got an interactive earthquake flash map.If you want to give yourself a real scare look at the ‘last 7 days earthquakes’ link, who knew that there are that many earthquakes in one week!!

an indication of the competence of the editors is that when the “news” was being aired on the TV within a TV, there was the usual banner at the bottom, whicg said in big red letters, “Marshal Law!”
I expected to see Matt Dillon doing crowd control.

Earthquake 10.5 has just aired on E4 in the UK.
I cannot believe that anyone could commission a script so poorly written. I’m sure the pained expression regularly seen on John Schneiders face had nothing to do with acting ability!
They should have reduced the effects budget and employed a decent director/scriptwriter.
Utter rubbish – but worth a look to see how it shouldn’t be done.

This was the most information Earthquake movie ever.
The acting was impeccable, the facts invaluable, the thrill unforgettable.
The kids in my class loved it, their favorite character was the fat soccer mom. She was great.
The stuff about nuclear warheads was great too, so true as well, so true. I’m glad the earth enveloped that amtrak train, I’ve had it with their bad-tasting bagles.
It seems like all of you have alot to learn about geology, as the truth is that I’ve seen 11.5 earthquakes with my own two ears.

Emily you posted:
“The ‘super faults’ were said to be at 700km below the surface. Hmmm, only minor problem is that 700 km below the Earth is the MANTLE!!! Even as an AS Geography student, I know that the Mantle is made of liqiud and so cannot create friction!!”
Have a look at
The earth’s inner mantle is solid and extends between 300km and 2890km. So it’s entirely possible for a ‘superfault’ to be 700km below the surface.

omg i cant believe i had lived throught that really really bad quake….. I almost died of a heartattack! But I have cancer becuase of it!!!! If any QUESTIONS CALL ME ON MY CELLULAR DEVICE 904 853 8383!!!

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