After studying corals in Indonesia, scientists discovered traces of an earthquake that lasted 32 years. The research is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Most earthquakes last from a few seconds to minutes. Some are much slower – they last for days, weeks, or even months. The frequencies of such earthquakes are so low that they may not be felt on the surface. Scientists in Singapore have discovered the slowest earthquake ever detected, lasting 32 years.

By themselves, earthquakes are tremors and vibrations of the earth’s surface. According to modern views, earthquakes reflect the process of geological transformation of the planet. It is believed that the root cause of earthquakes is global geological and tectonic forces, namely the movement of the earth’s plates.

Sometimes they slide past each other very slowly, producing vibrations that are only detectable by extremely sensitive equipment.

These slow slip events (SSEs) usually last for several weeks, with only a few lasting for three years. But that’s nothing compared to the “marathon” earthquake discovered by researchers at Nanyang University of Technology in Singapore.

Scientists have studied unusual ancient coral structures known as microatolls off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. They grow very slowly, registering changes in the earth’s crust.

The study showed that the slow earthquake began in 1829 and lasted 32 years. It ended with the 8.5 magnitude earthquake in Sumatra in 1861, which claimed the lives of thousands of people.