Earthquake divers: careful what you believe

Divers experience the shock of an underwater earthquake (@redoyjoy9999)
Clouds of sand erupt from the seabed - but this happened in Indonesia in November 2023, not Japan on New Year's Day

The divers seen above have been surprised by the underwater shock-waves from an magntitude 7 earthquake – but this happened in Indonesia in November 2023, not Japan on New Year's Day.

Two months ago Divernet ran the story of a group of scuba divers who shared footage of what had happened when they found themselves near the epicentre of seismic disturbances. They had been diving at a depth of 10m on a remote coral reef in the Banda Sea on 8 November. 

Now the fact-checkers of news agency Reuters say that the same footage, which was originally released on TikTok, is being passed off on Facebook and X as depicting the severe earthquake that struck Japan’s Noto peninsula on New Year's Day, killing 168 or more people.

Divernet attributed the footage to poster redoyjoy9999 and, according to Reuters, an Indonesia-based scuba instructor called Ryo R Tumpia has taken credit for capturing the images.

The sight of divers being rocked by such underwater disturbances is rare – so watch out for the same footage turning up out of context again in the future when major earthquakes occur.

Also on Divernet: Diver describes earthquake effect under water, Whales shake up earthquake research, Where water flows uphill,


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