International Geographic Year 1957

International Geographic Year 1957

The following interesting article appeared in the Time Magazine, in 1957.

In that historic year, International Geographic Year -1957, man placed the world under his multi-instrumented eye, studied it like a beetle under a microscope, and wrung from it, facts hitherto unknown. The scientists of 66 countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain, worked together harmoniously. There is nothing man is closer to than the earth underneath his feet, and hardly anything he has known less about! But even scientists, who were aware of their enormous ignorance of the earth’s crust, were astounded at how much they had not known about it.

They discovered grotesque new landscapes, stupendous in scale and scope, hidden from view by ocean waters and polar ice. They found out unfamiliar facts about old familiar places. They had to revise long cherished theories about the nature of our planet, and created for themselves a host of new puzzles.

71% of our globe is under water! Well known places apparently rooted with comfortable firmness, now seem to face an uncertain future. Even the shape of the earth seems to be somewhat illusionary. Instead of a solid globe, it is a bendable, slightly pear shaped spheroid, with a 45 degree bulge at the North Pole. The crust is craggier and more creased than thought, and the inner layers seem less rigid and more pliable.

Thus man emerges from I.G.Y. -1957, on a not so solid earth, with its deformed surface very restless, and its innards seething with disturbing inconsistency! WE LIVE ON A VERY RESTLESS PLANET!!

Paul in his letter to the Romans, said, “For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs, together until now. “Rom. 8:22

Revelation tells us of God’s final show down with rebellious man, when he cleans up the earth, culminating in the battle of Armageddon. “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon… And there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings and there was A GREAT EARTHQUAKE, SUCH AS WAS NOT SINCE MEN WERE UPON THE EARTH, SO MIGHTY AND SO GREAT. And the great city was divided into three parts, AND THE CITIES OF THE NATIONS FELL… And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. Revelations 16:16-20

In the first century after Christ only five major earthquakes were recorded. A major earthquake in modern day assessment, is six plus on the Richter Scale. A great earthquake is eight plus, on this scale.


15th Century 174

16th Century 253

17th Century 278

18th Century 640

19th Century 2119

20th Century 7600 – Thus far!!

The worst earthquake in modern history, killed between 500,000 and 800,000 people in China, in 1976, leaving millions maimed and homeless.

3,000 earthquakes are recorded every day world-wide! Over a million every year!!

Some time ago, a whole morning was spent by the writer in the Star library in Johannesburg, retrieving details of earthquakes, from their interesting files. For those interested in facts and figures, here is a list of earthquakes that have taken their toll of human lives, bodies and property destruction over the years:

1556 China             830,000

1737 Calcutta          300,000

1755 Lisbon                 60,000

1783 Italy                     30,000

1879   Aswan-India

1883   Dutch Indies   36,000

1884   Alaska

1891   Japan

1855   Tokyo, Razed to the ground


Killing countless thousands, and leaving millions maimed and homeless:

1902    Martinique           40,000           1956     Afghanistan        2,000

1906   San Francisco        5,000           1957     Persia                  3,000

1906    Chile                       20,000         1960     Morocco              12,000

1908    Italy                       83,000         1960    Persia                  3,000

1915    Italy                        30,000         1960     Chile                    6,000

1917    Guatemala                                  1962    Tehran                 12,000

1920    China                     100,000       1962     Iran                      12,000

1923    Tokyo                    200,000       1963     Tashkent              1,000

1927    China                     200,000       1963     Skopje                 1,000

1929    New Zealand                              1964    Alaska                 100

1932   China                     70,000         1966    Turkey                 1,100

1933    Japan                      3,000           1968     Iran                      12,000

1934    India                       11,000         1969    South China        3,000

1935    India-Quetta        0,000           1970    Chile                    12,000

1939    Chile                       30,000         1970    Turkey                 1,100

1939   Turkey                   33,000         1970     Peru                     70,000

1946    Japan                      2,000           1972     Iran                      6,000

1948    Japan                      5,000           1972     Nicaragua           5,000

1949    Siberia                    12,000         1974     South China     20,000

1950    India                       1,500           1974    Pakistan               5,000

1953    Turkey                   1,200           1975     Indonesia           6,000

By Charles G. Enerson


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