If you were anywhere near the Outer Banks on September 27th, you may have heard a large, house-shaking boom that left you scrambling to your phone or computer to see what just happened. Most of what you read probably pointed to a sonic boom or maybe even a navy firing exercise. It turns out, however, that it was a little-known or understood natural phenomenon called a “Seneca Gun.”
Seneca Guns are loud booming noises, most often described as sounding like thunder or a cannon being shot, and can feel like a small earthquake on land. Similar phenomena are reported all around the world. In Bangladesh, they call them the Barisal Guns; in Japan, they are the uminari; in the Netherlands and Belgium, they are called mistpoeffers; and in many other locations, they are simply called skyquakes.