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Jumping Germans
Status: Urban legend in the news
Inspired by the urban legend that if all the people in China jumped at once it would alter the orbit of the Earth, German scientists (working in participation with a German TV show) staged an experiment at a music festival. They arranged for all 50,000 people at the concert to jump at once, and then measured the results. They called it a "gang boing." Here's what happened:
In the end, the hoppers created "a mini-mini-earthquake," according to Ulrich Grünewald, who produced the segment for a science program on German television. The ground moved one-twentieth of a millimeter, with four oscillations per second. Scientists from Germany’s Geological Research Institute measured movement up to a kilometer away...

"We showed that people cannot start a (real) earthquake by hopping," Grünewald told the dpa news service. An actual earthquake would contain billions of times more energy than the jumping Germans produced.

Categories: Science, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 06, 2007
Comments (4)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
Been there, done that.
In 1988, during an LSU vs. Auburn (then #4 in the nation) football game in Baton Rouge, a last minute touchdown gave LSU the win. The crowd reaction to that TD registered on the seismographs on campus. It's been known as the "Earthquake Game" ever since.
BTW, the stadium at that time held over 80,000.
Posted by Frederick J. Barnett  in  Sorrento, LA  on  Wed Jun 06, 2007  at  08:37 AM
Jumping Germans... is that like Flushing, New York? That's not as weird as it seems... I hope someone more trivial than myself can indentify the TV program that so many thousands found so interesting, lo these 35 odd years or so, so engrossing that they could not tear themselves from the screen for a bathroom break until the program segment ended... The story goes that when the multitude enslaved to the one-eyed monster did relieve themselves enmasse, the resultant change in water closet activity dropped the overall municipal water pressure in New York City and the surrounding areas, presenting a major concern regarding firefighting and dishwashing capabilities. I should remind you that this was in the American era that a well-trained domestic housefrau would sooner have had the house burn down, than to wake up to dirty dishes, so you see the near-catyclsm of historic proportions. Not An Urban Legend. prove me wrong, smartass
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 06, 2007  at  12:51 PM
I couldn't help but wonder what the combined act of thousands flushing and jumping near-simultaneously might achieve, assuming of course that one could not be performed whilst in the act of performing the other. The result should be a mini-tremor combined with a loss in water pressure. Now if we could get them all to turn the A/C on high at nearly the same time, the electric grids would fail. I recall a time in January a few Winters back, where the extreme use of the natural gas lines during a very cold snap, produced a very low level of overall pressure in the big lines, small, and all over a multi-state area. Now if all these theoretical thousands flushed the loo, jumped in the air, flicked on the A/c and turned the broiler on high, we might just achieve perpetual motion sickness, or World Peace, whichever comes first. If nothing else, it would be like Hands Across America. Don't get me going on that one. I have theories about that. But later, they're watching right now. shh. Act like nothing's happened
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 06, 2007  at  01:02 PM
okay, Hands Across America spread Morgellon's Disease. That's all I'm saying, don't ask me about the NAFTA/Bildersburg connection, I neither confirm nor deny, but I have heard from reliable sources that the Chinese Melamine Cartel was also involved. I can say no more
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 06, 2007  at  01:21 PM
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