The earthquake that struck Japan on Friday was so powerful that it actually moved the whole planet by 25cm, experts say.According to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology the 9.0 magnitude ‘quake was so powerful it shifted the axis around which the Earth rotates.And the U.S. Geological Survey reported that the main island of Japan has been shifted 2.4 metres by the force of the disaster.The shift to the Earth’s tilt will have profound, if subtle effects on the length of the day and the passage of the seasons.Like a figure skater drawing in her arms during a pirouette, the speed of the planet’s rotation will change as the globe’s mass has been redistributed.
But Canadian geologists say that the ‘very, very tiny’ changes won’t be seen for centuries.
‘Ten inches [25cm] sounds like quite a lot when you hold a ruler in front of you. But if you think of it in terms of the earth as a whole, it’s absolutely tiny; it’s minute,’ University of Toronto professor Andrew Miall told Postmedia News.’It’s going to make minute changes to the length of a day. It could make very, very tiny changes to the tilt of the earth, which affects the seasons, but these effects are so small, it’d take very precise satellite navigation to pick it up.’