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California Earthquake Expert Gives Advice for Dealing With Follow-Up Shocks

Seemingly counterintuitive tips actually make a lot of sense.

On Tuesday night, the greater Los Angeles area experienced a 4.4-magnitude earthquake that was felt up to 40 miles away from the epicenter. There were no reported injuries or damages, but experts warn that the worst may not be over, as the potential for secondary quakes remains. Fortunately, according to experts, there are a number of measures Californians can take to ensure their safety in case aftershocks occur.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, seismologist and earthquake expert Lucy Jones, Ph.D., warned that every earthquake has a small percent chance of being followed by something even larger. For this reason, there is a slightly greater chance of a big quake on Wednesday in comparison to other nights.

Jones advised that if an earthquake does occur Wednesday evening, members of the public should remain in bed and cover their heads with a pillow.

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Dr. Estelle Chaussard, professor of geology and geophysics at the University at Buffalo told Inverse that this tactic was useful, as most injuries from an earthquake are caused by falling debris. However, she emphasized that it is safer to get out of bed and seek shelter, if possible.

“That means drop on the floor, seek cover under a desk or a structure that would protect you from falling objects and hold on until the shaking has stopped,” said Chaussard. “Ideally, if near a exit, the safest place to be during an earthquake is outside and away from any structure,” said Chaussard.

Earthquakes are the result of a release of energy caused by friction between fault lines beneath the surface. In most cases, earthquakes come in clusters, with earthquakes before the main quake called foreshocks and those after called aftershocks.

The risk for a significant earthquake hitting southern California on Wednesday night is small, but according to Chaussard, there is no rule for the size of secondary quakes. They can be smaller or larger than the first. Regardless, it is still important to understand how to stay safe in such scenarios, as you really never know.

Steve Irwin: He Gave Attention to One of Nature's Saltiest Big Boys

The endangered saltwater crocodile received a helping hand from Irwin.

The late icon of conservation Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin would have been 57 years old on Friday, and Google chose the day to mark his extraordinary life with a touching Google Doodle slideshow. Irwin was deeply involved with animals, reptiles especially, from an early age, as his parents ran a reptile park when was a child in Australia. As you do, he eventually began to wrestle crocodiles, nature’s saltiest, crustiest lords of the mud, proving that what he’d do later in life was no stunt for TV.

The Incredible Science Behind This Self-Warming, Self-Cooling Bed

Eight Sleep’s new bed will make tossing and turning a thing of the past.

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Sleep tracking can unquestionably help you establish better habits which allow for a more restful night’s sleep. By keeping track of the nights that you toss and turn, you can identify potential explanations for your sub-optimal slumber. Maybe it’s the time of week that’s got you anxious. Maybe it was the cheeseburger you had for lunch. Paying attention is just the start, though.

The 'Stoned Ape' Theory Might Explain Our Extraordinary Evolution

A scientist resurfaces a psychedelic retelling of human evolution.

Imagine Homo erectus, a now-extinct species of hominids that stood upright and became the first of our ancestors to move beyond a single continent. Around two million years ago, these hominids, some of whom eventually evolved into Homo sapiens, began to expand their range beyond Africa, moving into Asia and Europe. Along the way, they tracked animals, encountered dung, and discovered new plants.

Did Inbreeding Kill the Neanderthals? Experts Say Skeletons Hold Clues

Things got a little "Game of Thrones."

Today, Homo sapiens are the only humans left on Earth. But thousands of years ago there were more of us — other species that belonged to the same genus, and in turn, our family tree. They are now extinct and scientists endeavor to figure out why.

In a new study published this month in Scientific Reports, a team took on the case of Homo neanderthalensis, and argue that the reason they died out was because things turned a little Game of Thrones.

Brain Scans Reveal Why "Night Owls" Have It Rough in a 9-to-5 Society: Study

The results explain why we need to "create more flexibility in our society."

The 9-to-5 workday originated with American labor unions in the 1800s, and today, the eight-hour workday is the norm. But however normalized the schedule, it is directly opposed to something more powerful: biology.

In a new study, scientists report that people whose internal body clocks tell them to go to bed late, but are then forced to wake up early, have a lower resting brain connectivity in the regions of the brain linked to consciousness.