Did 'SUPERMOON' cause Japan quake? NO!

At the time of awful scenes witnessed in Japan, it seems that the Daily Mail’s disregard towards taste or respect knows no bounds…

At the time of writing, the latest official figures from the crisis in Japan show that 4,314 people have died, 2,282 have been injured, and 8,606 are missing.

On top of the harrowing scenes witnessed around the globe by the 24-hour news coverage, efforts to rescue survivors and retrieve bodies are currently being hampered by snow falling heavily in affected areas, while more freezing weather has been predicted for the next several days.

At this tragic time, while bodies are still floating face down in the water, the Daily Mail decided to publish one of the most offensively tasteless pieces of journalism that I have read in a while.

The ‘Science & Tech’ section of the Mail’s website is currently host to this vulgar article, titled “Is the Japanese earthquake the latest natural disaster to have been caused by a ‘supermoon’?”

The astrological (not astronomical) term ‘supermoon’ refers to the situation where the moon is a little bit closer to Earth in its orbit than usual, which happens at the same time as a full moon.

The moon’s orbit is elliptical, not circular, and so its close approach, known as ‘perigee’, occurs once a month. The slightly rarer occurrence of this happening at the same time as a full moon, creating a supermoon, happens approximately 5 or 6 times a year.

Every time a supermoon comes around, some astrologers predict that its vastly increased gravitational pull will cause chaos on Earth – resulting in earthquakes, mega-volcanoes, tsunamis, etc.

Supermoons of the past have been blamed for causing the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, and the Mail’s article sheds light on a fresh contingency of idiots that have blamed an approaching supermoon, appearing on March 19th, as the reason for the Sendai earthquake that hit Japan last Friday.

Ignoring the fact that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the gravitational effects of the moon can cause significant earthquakes (which is a pretty big fact to ignore), the problem with the claim that a supermoon was responsible for the Boxing Day Tsunami is that the supermoon responsible actually occurred 2 weeks after the event. At the time of the tsunami the moon was in fact at the farthest point in its orbit, known as ‘apogee’, therefore completely dissolving the theory of the supermoon’s effect.

The same problem occurred with the Sendai earthquake. Last Friday, on March 11th, the moon was closer to apogee than it was to perigee, and was located at a greater distance from the Earth than its average distance throughout the entire lunar cycle. This meant that the gravitational effect of the moon was below average at the time.

A large solar flare occurring at the end of last month was initially blamed for the quakes in New Zealand, and some are now also attributing the same flare as the cause of the Sendai quake, despite no science to back up either claim.

I’m shocked that suggestions like these are allowed to be published at such sensitive times. When emotions are still raw the last thing anyone wants to deal with is nonsensical pseudoscience and conspiracy theorists enforcing their stupid ideas on people.

The ever-amusing comments section of the Daily Mail has thrown up some particularly astounding suggestions of other possible causes of the Sendai quake including mass satanic sacrifice deliberately engineered by the US Air Force, and the overbearing weight of concrete cities, ‘spiralling the planet out of control’. If that’s the case then Milton Keynes is next.

I would urge anyone spending time reading (or even worse, spreading) the scientific garbage that the Mail has on offer regarding this issue to instead direct your attention towards donating at http://www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Make-a-single-donation/Japan-Tsunami-Appeal.

I can only assume the ‘good times’ or the ‘boogie’ are next to appear crassly smeared across the Daily Mail’s pages.