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Is Japanese folklore concerning deep-sea fish appearance a real precursor of earthquakes?

Yoshiaki Orihara, Masashi Kamogawa, Yoichi Noda and Toshiyasu Nagao
Is Japanese folklore concerning deep-sea fish appearance a real precursor of earthquakes?
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (June 2019) 109 (4): 1556-1562

Abstract

In Japan, folklore says that uncommon appearances of deep?sea fish are an earthquake precursor. If this folklore is proved to be true, the appearance of deep-sea fish could be useful information for disaster mitigation. However, a statistical survey has not been conducted on this subject because a database of such information had yet to be compiled. In Japanese domestic local newspapers, such appearances have often been reported because rare appearances might attract readers. The authors constructed a database of reports from newspapers, academic articles, and the marine museum. In this study, fish species generally implicated in earthquakes, such as oarfish and slender ribbon fish, were the focus. Although the catalog used might not include all of the events of deep?sea fish appearances around Japan because of a lack of whole coverage observation, the earthquake occurrence rate after deep-sea fish appearances can be evaluated. Thus, the usefulness of the deep-sea fish appearance information for disaster mitigation was evaluated. From this investigation, the spatiotemporal relationship between deep-sea fish appearances and earthquakes was hardly found. Hence, this Japanese folklore is deemed to be a superstition attributed to the illusory correlation between the two events.


ISSN: 0037-1106
EISSN: 1943-3573
Coden: BSSAAP
Serial Title: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Serial Volume: 109
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Is Japanese folklore concerning deep-sea fish appearance a real precursor of earthquakes?
Affiliation: Tokai University, Institute of Oceanic Research and Development, Shizuoka, Japan
Pages: 1556-1562
Published: 20190618
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, Berkeley, CA, United States
References: 30
Accession Number: 2019-062123
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables, sketch maps
N30°00'00" - N45°00'00", E129°00'00" - E147°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Shizuoka, JPN, Japan
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201932
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