According to scientists, the recent earthquake in Japan created a rupture on the ocean’s floor 217-miles long and 50 miles wide and shifted coastlines up to 8 feet. Because a large amount of the earth’s mass was displaced, scientists estimate that the earth’s rotational axis also shifted. Scientists say the axis shifted 4 inches. However, this change in the earth’s rotation has nearly unnoticeable effects, as in the past, Chile’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake shortened the day by only 1.26 microseconds.
A lot of Pacific islands were hit hard by the earthquake and tsunami. Birds that relied on those islands to stay dry were impacted particularly hard, as many of them were hit with the tsunami and injured, left to float in the sea. Fish were also killed as they washed up onto land. The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge suffered a loss of 110,000 Laysan Albatross chicks. In general, animals that relied on Pacific islands suffered greatly during and after this event.
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