The massive earthquake that hit Japan sped up Earth’s spin by a microsecond and tilted the axis by several inches.

Japan-Wave-Map-NOAAThis weekend, it wasn’t just the shift to Daylight Saving Time that reset our clocks. Mother Nature tweaked time by speeding up Earth’s spin a bit in response to the killer earthquake that rocked Japan.

“There was a redistribution of an enormous amount of the Earth’s crust,” theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, with the City College of New York, told Discovery News. “It actually shortened the time of the day, and also shifted the axis of the Earth.”

The 8.9-magnitude quake — the fifth largest in recorded history — shaved about one-millionth of second off our day and tilted the planet’s axis by several inches.

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Source: Irene Klotz | Discovery News
Photo: NOAA