With the power to swiftly shift miles of land and rattle even the sturdiest of structures, earthquakes offer a sharp reminder that we don’t control our own destinies. Yet as frightening (for some) as they may be, there’s plenty of cause to be thankful for these tenacious temblors.
Earthquakes produced some of Earth’s most inspiring sights—the soaring geysers, burbling mud pits, and steaming springs of Yellowstone; the majestic Rockies, Andes, and Himalayas; the lush Hawaiian Islands.
Earthquakes generated the habitats for most, if not all, life on Earth—the continents for the vast array of land life; the coastal waters shimmering with colorful marine life; the hydrothermal vents teeming with bizarre creatures at the ocean’s floor.
Earthquakes ensure a wide distribution of the nutrients life requires—lifting up mountains whose minerals erode into streams, valleys, and oceans; recycling the material deposited on the ocean floors back through Earth’s interior and once again up into mountains.
Earthquakes regulate the planet’s surface temperature—exposing elements that soak up greenhouse gases and prevent overheating; releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that prevent overcooling—to maintain a stable, habitable environment for life.
Earthquakes, or the tectonic motions that produce them, played a crucial role in transforming Earth from its desolate beginnings to its vibrant diversity of life today. The power and fine-tuning evidenced by this 4.5-billion-year transformation truly reveals the might and power of the Creator.