http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-earthquakes/ Earthquakes and Why They Happen The ground shakes, buildings tumble and the earth heaves and cracks. Serious earthquakes are terrifying and dangerous, but are rare in the U.S. But why do earthquakes happen? The earth is made up of four layers – the inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. The mantle and crust are a thin skin compared to the other layers. The mantle is about 1,750 miles thick, while the crust is only about 8 miles thick. This thin skin is broken into pieces called tectonic plates. The plates are like puzzle pieces, floating on top of the Earth’s inner core. Sometimes the pieces slide under or against each other and become stuck. Fun Facts for Kids on Earthquakes – Image of a Road Damaged by Earthquake When the pieces slide apart, they create tremendous force. This force causes the earth to shake and ripple. Over 80 percent of the earth’s earthquakes happen in the Pacific Ocean, in a place known as the “Ring of Fire.” Annually, around 10,000 people die in earthquakes every year. Most of the deaths happen when people are trapped in falling buildings. After an earthquake, mudslides, fires and tsunamis can also hurt people. Yes, that link does say easy science for kids. Since earthquakes are happening frequently again these past few days and we now have a Science and Nature section of the Forum...I wanted to start a tread about earthquakes. I don't know much in the area of Science and I don't know much about earthquakes either so I wanted to find a website that would use simple language to tell me about them. Plus I hope some of you will be able to share some interesting things you know about earthquakes too. So just think of the link above for all of us Big Kids! My first question is: Has anybody on this Forum ever experienced an earthquake? I first became interested in earthquakes when I saw the movie Earthquake with Charleston Heston and Ava Gardner. But even back then it was more the movie about earthquakes that drew my interest...and not the scientific explanations of the how and why of them. In school Science was not one of my favorite subjects either so even though I probably did learn some things about earthquakes during my school years...it just never stuck with me. I never felt the need to know the how and why of some things.I just knew if something happened, then it was real...and that's all that really mattered to me when it came to earthquakes. As I've gotten older though I find I am much more curious about the how and why of things. And the more often things like earthquakes happen...the more my mind wonders how and why too. I've seen a lot of earthquake movies since my first one...and since Scientists, etc. know so much about them now the movies have become ever more realistic of what earthquakes and humans going through them are really like. All of this makes me more interested in this part of Science today.