Earthquake turns water to gold... sounds like a reality show in the making. On March 17, NBC News reported that scientists believe that earthquakes could be the cause of giant gold deposits found in different areas of the world -- where earthquakes are more common.
"During an earthquake, the fault jog suddenly opens wider. It's like pulling the lid off a pressure cooker: The water inside the void instantly vaporizes, flashing to steam and forcing silica, which forms the mineral quartz, and gold out of the fluids and onto nearby surfaces," explained Richard Henley, of the Australian National University in Canberra (via NBC News).
If an earthquake turns water to gold, it is quite a process, as one can imagine. There are a lot of minerals that mix with steam and water when an earthquake hits -- not unlike when a volcano erupts, which is another suspected gold source. Naturally this isn't a cut and dry "experience an earthquake, set out on a quest for riches," despite how it may sound.
According to the report, it could take thousands of years for a "mineable deposit." New Zealand's Alpine Fault could be one of the places that sees lots of gold according to Dion Weatherley, a geophysicist at the University of Queensland in Australia. That, however, won't happen for maybe 100,000 years.
Can an earthquake turn water to gold? It is scientifically possible. Perhaps some day the world will find an abundance of gold thanks to this natural disaster.
© Effie Orfanides 2013