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We can discover how the layers of rock in the earth sometimes break apart.

Hold a piece of thin wood about 1/4 inch by 2 feet by 1 inch (1 cm by 75 cm by 2 cm) by the ends. Slowly bend the wood (away from your body) until it breaks.

In a similar way, layers of rock in the earth bend until they can bend no more. Then they suddenly break.

Describe what you felt in your hands when the wood broke. Was it a slight tingling sensation? What you felt were actually vibrations caused by the break.

Similarly, when rocks break or shift in the earth, their movements cause vibrations that are sent through the earth; these vibrations are called earthquakes.

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