Mysterious Earthquake In New Hampshire Was Triggered By A Gender Reveal Party

A regular explosion at a quarry, not linked to the gender of a child in any way. Image credit: TFoxFoto/

Revealing the sex of a baby is one of those things that you just presume doesn't have a fatality rate, but that has changed in recent years with the advent of the gender reveal party. This year, there have been at least four deaths so far, putting them on par with shark attacks in terms of risk of death.

In years gone by, people would find out the sex of their baby when the doctor, midwife, or birth assistant had a quick glance at the genitals as the baby slides out. A few days ago, the family and friends of one family learned the sex of an unborn child in an explosion that triggered an earthquake that could be felt a full 32 kilometers (20 miles) away, according to police.

Residents in a number of towns in New Hampshire reported a mysterious earthquake at around 7 pm on April 20, shaking homes and cracking foundations.

“We heard this god-awful blast,” one person told NBC Boston. “It knocked pictures off our walls.”


Meteorologists reported no earthquakes around the time, but authorities tracked down the source of the shaking earth and loud explosion: people announcing their kid was a boy. The gender reveal party took place in a quarry operated by Torromeo Industries, Inc in Kingston, New Hampshire, where the gathered set about announcing their child would be born with male genitalia through the medium of detonating some Tannerite.

“A Kingston Police Detective met with the individuals that were on site, who cooperated with the detective and informed him that they were having a gender reveal party,” police said in a statement seen by the Boston Globe. “During the investigation, the detective was informed that the location, a quarry, was chosen as they felt it was a safe location to detonate the Tannerite.”

Police confirmed to NBC Boston that they were investigating potential property damage that could lead to charges and that the child was a boy. This was denoted in the explosion by the inclusion of blue chalk.


Previous gender reveal parties have seen people killed by a pipe bomb, as well as using alligators in incredibly ill-advised stunts.

 This Week in IFLScience

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