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A Lot Of People In Canada Are Experiencing Mysterious "Frost Quakes"

Many have been reporting hearing loud booms across the Greater Toronto since Christmas Eve.

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Although a frost quake may sound as realistic as a sharknado, apparently they're a real — albeit rare — phenomenon.

Similar frostquakes or "cryoseisms" were heard on Monday. Here's an explanation of how these rare events occur. http://t.co/Jyq9sc6P2s

Anthony Farnell

@AnthonyFarnell

Similar frostquakes or "cryoseisms" were heard on Monday. Here's an explanation of how these rare events occur. http://t.co/Jyq9sc6P2s

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Frost quakes, or cryoseisms, occur when there is a rapid drop in temperature. Water that is in the ground freezes. Because it has nowhere else to go, it cracks the soil or rock causing a loud noise and the shaking of the ground.These types of cryoseisms are rare and poorly understood. There are two types of cryoseisms: a frost quake and an ice quake. An ice quake occurs over bodies of water such as lakes and rivers.

Although the United State Geological Survey and the American Meteor Society had no reports of seismic events, people across Ontario have been reporting frost quakes since Christmas Eve.

I have finally figured it out what we heard and felt. @MikeGamble @bertrand93 @Christina_G_P http://t.co/WdrudDpjKZ #frostquake #cryoseism

Dave Patrick

@wwxchaser

I have finally figured it out what we heard and felt. @MikeGamble @bertrand93 @Christina_G_P http://t.co/WdrudDpjKZ #frostquake #cryoseism

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Catherine Woodgold, a seismologist with Earthquakes Canada, said that with the sudden drop in temperature, frost quakes were a "very likely explanation" for what people have been experiencing.

I survived the GTA Frost Quakes!! #frostquake #estherthewonderpig

Esther TheWonder Pig

@EstherThePig

I survived the GTA Frost Quakes!! #frostquake #estherthewonderpig

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It could be an effect with the house itself. Like the house itself could be shifting to the response in the temperature. It could be an effect with the house itself. Like the house itself could be shifting to the response in the temperature.

Just had another frost quake shake my entire house.... When in the hell are these loud booms going to end??? #ygk #frostquake

Ruth

@1CoolCanadian

Just had another frost quake shake my entire house.... When in the hell are these loud booms going to end??? #ygk #frostquake

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#FrostQuake Jeez, I thought my house was about to collapse! Huge and often frost quakes here in Woodbridge.

Joey Esposito

@organdonor76

#FrostQuake Jeez, I thought my house was about to collapse! Huge and often frost quakes here in Woodbridge.

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OMFG, my building is shaking and kinda rocking back and forth. I'm feeling the #FrostQuake. This is crazy.

News Watch

@WatchStorm

OMFG, my building is shaking and kinda rocking back and forth. I'm feeling the #FrostQuake. This is crazy.

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Whether the noises are actual frost quakes or just people's houses creaking because of the cold temperatures, people all over Greater Toronto are saying they're experiencing frost quakes.

Hey @MileyCyrus is it you making all this noise with that damn wrecking ball!!????? #FrostQuake #Toronto

GonzMonch Ⓜ️

@GonzMonch

Hey @MileyCyrus is it you making all this noise with that damn wrecking ball!!????? #FrostQuake #Toronto

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#frostquake you jerk, you woke up my dog.

boot

@precautiondocs

#frostquake you jerk, you woke up my dog.

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boot

@precautiondocs

#FROSTQUAKE SHUT UP

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Lauren

@ohlalalaur

I survived #frostquake 2014

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And nobody could sleep.

Woken up at 4am by #frostquake Three more since then!! I need a vacation! Another day in the -20's! I need #sun #cuba #sunwing #beach

Jim Laszlo

@JimLaszlo

Woken up at 4am by #frostquake Three more since then!! I need a vacation! Another day in the -20's! I need #sun #cuba #sunwing #beach

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The count's at 8 for cracking sounds from the #frostquake in #Guelph. Might as well count, can't sleep. Reading, with sound effects..

Jen Popkey

@Terpvoice

The count's at 8 for cracking sounds from the #frostquake in #Guelph. Might as well count, can't sleep. Reading, with sound effects..

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Frigg’n #frostquake is good and bad. Can’t sleep but I keep running laps around the house to check if all is well. Get fit in 2014𠉬heck!

Sats Sehgal

@satssehgal

Frigg’n #frostquake is good and bad. Can’t sleep but I keep running laps around the house to check if all is well. Get fit in 2014𠉬heck!

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Seriously #frostquake just trying to get some sleep.... at 4:00 in the morning!

Lindsey Schoenmakers

@lindelschoes

Seriously #frostquake just trying to get some sleep.... at 4:00 in the morning!

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#frostquake keeping me from getting any solid sleep

christina McFarlane

@siennajl28

#frostquake keeping me from getting any solid sleep

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No sleep tonight thanks to #frostquake ?

Jennifer S

@Jennaynnay

No sleep tonight thanks to #frostquake ? 😒

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This #frostquake needs to stop.. I wanna sleep without feeling like someone's hammering my house

Amanda Pham

@ImFunsizeduhh

This #frostquake needs to stop.. I wanna sleep without feeling like someone's hammering my house 😩😭😤

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The count's at 8 for cracking sounds from the #frostquake in #Guelph. Might as well count, can't sleep. Reading, with sound effects..

Jen Popkey

@Terpvoice

The count's at 8 for cracking sounds from the #frostquake in #Guelph. Might as well count, can't sleep. Reading, with sound effects..

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And people were generally just freaked out.

I rushed upstairs cause I thought my parents fell out of bed omg. #frostquake

MAC.

@AdrianaaaaaR

I rushed upstairs cause I thought my parents fell out of bed omg. #frostquake

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I'm hoping this #FrostQuake doesn't unleash #snowsharks.

Galen Eagle

@LegalGeagle

I'm hoping this #FrostQuake doesn't unleash #snowsharks.

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sounds like there are bombs going off outside #frostquake

Alex Saragosa

@AlexCSaragosa

sounds like there are bombs going off outside #frostquake

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Omg, that was a loud one at 3:12am #frostquake

Andrew Leung

@OhanaUnited

Omg, that was a loud one at 3:12am #frostquake

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I'm really glad my boss thinks it's a good idea to work outside today. #frostquake

Erik Gammon

@__EMG__

I'm really glad my boss thinks it's a good idea to work outside today. #frostquake

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Went outside to take a few shots of the night sky and all I heard was ice cracking near and far. Felt like I was on a lake. #frostquake

Dave Patrick

@wwxchaser

Went outside to take a few shots of the night sky and all I heard was ice cracking near and far. Felt like I was on a lake. #frostquake

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#frostquake in Brampton. Scared me, thought a tree had fallen on the house. One Big Bang then a smaller one, a minute later.

Angie's thinkin

@Angiesthinkin

#frostquake in Brampton. Scared me, thought a tree had fallen on the house. One Big Bang then a smaller one, a minute later.

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Someone actually thought they were being murdered.

Woke up from the #frostquake as I was between being awake and asleep. Thought I was about to get brutally murdered. I am 6 years old. Lol

Kevin Hale

@MrKevinHale

Woke up from the #frostquake as I was between being awake and asleep. Thought I was about to get brutally murdered. I am 6 years old. Lol

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But thankfully, frost quakes aren't deadly.

It should be somewhat comforting to know that nobody has ever been injured or died from a cryoseism or #frostquake.

Anthony Farnell

@AnthonyFarnell

It should be somewhat comforting to know that nobody has ever been injured or died from a cryoseism or #frostquake.

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Phew.

Cate Sevilla is the UK managing editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Cate Sevilla at cate.sevilla@buzzfeed.com .

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