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No. 84: Nov-Dec 1992

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The Orbiting Mountains Below

Two years ago a Russian scientist suggested that tiny black holes orbiting within the earth might trigger volcanic activity. Now, he has extended the idea to earthquakes.

"A.R. Trofimenko of the Minsk Department of the Astronomical-Geodesical Society of the USSR believes that all cosmic bodies, including the Sun and the Earth, are riddled with "mini" black holes left over from the big bang. Though much smaller than atoms. such black holes would each contain as much mass as a mountain, up to about 2 x 1020 grams.

"Trofimenko originally suggested that energy radiated by these mini black holes could make hot spots that produce volcanic outbursts. Now he has investigated the way in which such objects, by orbiting about the Earth's core, would distort the gravitational field at the surface of our planet."

Each time a mini black hole passes beneath a spot on the surface, there would be a "gravitoimpulse" too short to be detected by current instrumentation but sufficient to trigger earthquakes.

(Anonymous; "Baby Black Holes Blamed for Earthquakes," New Scientist, p. 18, September 19. 1992.)

From Science Frontiers #84, NOV-DEC 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987