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Canada frost quakes: 'Booms' heard across Canada due to frost, cold

Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Canada frost quakes are occurring because of the insanely cold weather. On Jan. 5, Mail Online reported that Canada residents have reported hearing "loud booms" and authorities say the noises are "frost quakes" caused by the frigid temps -- many areas settling in well below zero.

"Hundreds of people are being startled by hearing large booms - causing them to think their homes are being broken into or gunshots are being fired. In fact, they are merely hearing the after-effects of the frost quakes - or cryoseism - which are more commonly found on a glacier in the polar regions," reports Mail Online.

Canada frost quakes are nothing to be worried about -- but you can imagine how many people have been frightened by the unexpected noises. So what exactly is causing them? Moisture in the ground has frozen and then it's expanding (because that's what ice does) and then it cracks, causing the "boom" sound. This type of thing, though rare in residential areas of southern Canada, can happen after a thaw and refreeze.

Temperatures in areas like Toronto aren't expected to get much warmer, however the frost quakes won't continue and likely won't be a "normal" occurrence -- unless the elements align again.

Canada frost quakes have also caused some ground shaking -- so while minor, these "booms" are very similar to earthquakes in the way they sound and feel.

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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