1. India: The Earth is held up by four elephants that stand on the back of a turtle. The turtle is balanced on top of a cobra. When any of these animals move, the Earth trembles and shakes.
2. Mexico: El Diablo, the devil, makes giant rips in the Earth from the inside. He and his devilish friends use the cracks when they want to come and stir up trouble on Earth.
3. Mozambique: The Earth is a living creature, and it has the same kinds of problems people have. Sometimes, it gets sick with fever and chills and we can feel its shaking.
4. West Africa: The Earth is a flat disk, held up on one side by an enormous mountain and on the other by a giant. The giant’s wife holds up the sky. The Earth trembles when he stops to hug her.
5. New Zealand: Mother Earth has a child within her womb, the young god Ru. When he stretches and kicks as babies do, he causes earthquakes.
6. Columbia: When the Earth was first made, it rested firmly on three large beams of wood. But one day the god Chibchacum decided that it would be fun to see the plain of Bogota underwater. He flooded the land, and for his punishment he is forced to carry the world on his shoulders. Sometimes he’s angry and stomps, shaking the Earth.
7. East Africa: A giant fish carries a stone on his back. A cow stands on a stone, balancing the Earth on one of her horns. From time to time, her neck begins to ache, and she tosses the globe from one horn to another.
8. Romania: The world rests on the divine pillars of faith, hope and charity. When the deeds of human beings make one of the pillars weak, the Earth shakes.
9. Central America: The square Earth is held up at its four corners by four gods. When they decide the Earth is becoming overpopulated, they tip it to get rid of surplus people.
10. Assam (Between Banglasdesh and China): There is a race of people living inside the Earth. From time to time, they shake the ground to find out if anyone is still living on the surface. When children feel a quake, they should shout “Alive! Alive!” so the people inside the Earth will know they are there and stop shaking.
11. Siberia: The Earth rests on a sled driven by a god name Tuli. The dogs who pull the sled have fleas. When they stop to scratch, the Earth shakes.
12. Japan: A great catfish, or namazu, lies curled up under the sea, with the islands of Japan resting on his back. A demigod, or daimyojin, holds a heavy stone over his head to keep him from moving. Once in a while, though, the daimyojin is distracted, the namazu moves and the Earth trembles.
13. Latvia: A god named Drebkuhls carries the Earth in his arms as he walks through the heavens. When he’s having a bad day, he might handle his burden a little roughly. Then the Earth will feel the shaking.
Which myth is your favorite? Do you have your own myth to add?
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