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Thousands of years ago, some people thought that earthquakes happened when the great beast  (similar to  Nessie) that swam in the depths of the underworld and carried the Earth on its back shifted the Earth to its other shoulder.

Today most geologists (scientists who study the Earth) think that the earth  we walk on is made of many large plates of land  that move around on Earth's liquid core.  At least a dozen of these pieces have moved up against each other so we can step from one piece to another without noticing. But these pieces of land, called tectonic plates are still moving, and when the pressure becomes too great, they slide against each other like the wet plates in your sink when you wash them.  Just as you get splashed when your plates slip against each other, plates of land jiggle when they slide against each other.  We call this an earthquake, and we call the places where tectonic plates butt against each other faults.  

A fault line runs SW-NE through the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness is on that fault  line.  Approximately three earthquakes per century occur at Loch Ness.  They are usually only Richter 4, which is what it feels like when you are sitting on your bed and somebody bounces it.

There is another way to make earthquakes, besides land masses bumping and sliding against each other. Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American accidentally caused several earthquakes while experimenting with ball lightning and transmitting energy through the Earth.  Tesla considered man-made earthquakes as potential weapons of war.  They could be used to f latten any city that made war on another.

  • Born on July 9/10, 1856 in Smiljane, Lika (Austro-Hungarian Empire)

  • Died on January 7, 1943 in New York City, New York (USA)

  • Inventions: a telephone repeater, rotating magnetic field principle, polyphase alternating-current system, induction motor, alternating-current power transmission, Tesla coil transformer, wireless communication, radio, fluorescent lights, and more than 700 other patents. Tesla holds the patent for the radio, which he received 7 months before Marconi applied.

Another ignored Inventor:  Antonio Meucci, inventor of the telephone in 1849. Unable to raise funds for the $250 patent fee, Meucci wired his own home with telephones so his wife could call him when she was ill. Meucci also developed an improvement in galvanization that was adopted by Cuban military. Meucci was a talented inventor with no entrepreneurial talent, who spoke only Italian. In 1860, he arranged a demonstration in which a singer's voice was heard over his telephone wires from several miles away. Meucci published drawings of his invention in 1870. Bell did not file for a patent until 1876.

biography of Tesla


And, Philipp Reis, a young German professor, invented the telephone in 1861, but nobody took him seriously, even though he made several popular public demonstrations. One demonstration was in Scotland, while Bell was there.  Nobody knows if Bell attended.

Also another contributor to the development of the telephone,  Elisha Gray, who obtained a patent for a telephone-like device in 1875.

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The earthquake photo is from:

which is part of the wonderful Nessie website: Legends of Loch Ness

Build a Seismograph

Earthquake Information Page - learn about big quakes, recent quakes and quake research

US Department of Civil Engineering:

And you can learn more about Nicola Tesla (who in his own way was as exciting as Nessie)

Tesla's Autobiography:

The Life of Nikola Tesla by PBS

Tesla Page at Yale

Tesla Fan Site -- this inventor deserves a fan club!

One Story of Nicola Tesla

Tesla invented the radio before Marconi

Tesla's FBI File 

part one:

part two:

But other inventors broadcast voice before Tesla, and made other important developments in radio:

Ernst Alexanderson

Amos Dolbear 1882 radio on timeline

Nathan B. Stubblefield radio 1892

Valdemar Poulsenís Canned Lightning

Reginald Fessenden, Canadian

Charles "Doc" Herrold

Radio History on the Web