For the latest TED-Ed short, Brooklyn-based Augenblick Studios has animated “The Science of Tsunamis,” a talk by educator Alex Gendler explaining the origin of tsunamis and why the term “tidal wave” is a bit of a misnomer.
Tsunamis are caused by energy originating under water from a volcanic reaction, a submarine landslide or, most commonly, an earthquake on the ocean floor caused when the tectonic plates slip, releasing a massive amount of energy in the water. This energy travels up to the surface, raising the water and displacing it above the normal sea level.
Gendler also discusses the ways in which scientist are attempting to minimize the impact of the towering waves.
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