The world has been both literally and figuratively standing still during the ongoing pandemic, scientists say. Lockdowns around the globe have drastically reduced human activity, and as a direct result, the ground is shaking far less — a silver lining for those studying seismic signals.

In fact, an international team of researchers have found that seismic vibrations generated by humans have fallen by as much as 50 percent globally, according to a new paper published in the journal Science yesterday.

“The 2020 seismic noise quiet period is the longest and most prominent global anthropogenic seismic noise reduction on record,” the researchers noted in their paper.

Thanks to this quiet period, scientists were able to get an unprecedented listen to seismic signals from natural sources, including small earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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