March 6, 2014 | Luke

So flour might help us understand earthquakes?

US scientists investigated the link between earthquakes and lightning. They found that tipping flour creates a 200-volt potential. And they think that soil movement in earthquakes may be similar, causing lightning to appear when there are no clouds.

I like how scientists find new ways to investigate the world, using whatever tools they can.

Finding out more about clear-sky lightning could help predict earthquakes, even though people have dismissed this link for 300 years.


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Flour was just one of the three materials used.


Image: Flickr/nathanmac87

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