A bundled Bangorian crosses State Street in Bangor underneath a thermometer outside the Bangor Savings Bank that reads zero degrees, Feb. 3, 2023. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

A sudden plunge into below-freezing temperatures has prompted some unusual tremors in the central Maine highlands.

According to the National Weather Service office in Caribou, some Piscataquis County residents have reported feeling “frostquakes” during the extreme cold on Friday evening.

The tremors are the result of “cryoseisms”, according to the NWS. These are caused when sudden cracks form in frozen water or soil.

Other common sounds during cold temperatures are cracking ice and trees, which can create extremely loud snaps, spooking people and pets.

Although earthquakes are not completely unheard of in Maine, the Maine Geological Survey hasn’t recorded any earthquakes in Piscataquis County in recent history.

The Hancock County town of Dedham has reported a number of earthquakes in the past few months, and the tremors have disturbed local residents and left pets on edge.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.