Discovery of the Week: Earthquake Damage

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck in Wairarapa, in the lower North Island of New Zealand, on the 20th of January.

Nobody died, which is why I don’t feel bad about laughing at this photo:

A giant eagle fell from the ceiling in Wellington Airport
The inside of Wellington Airport

You might be wondering why an earthquake would result in there being a giant dead bird in Wellington Airport. Well…

Wellington is still a little overexcited about Weta, a group of companies based in Wellington, being responsible for most of the CGI and props for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. To celebrate the release of the second Hobbit movie, Wellington Airport and Weta collaborated to put a pair of enormous eagles inside Wellington airport (you can watch a video of the laborious installation process here).

The Great Eagles in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Great Eagles in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

This isn’t exactly new to long-time Wellingtonians. In the years since The Fellowship of the Ring appeared in theatres, they’ve seen giant arrows, trolls, eagles, Nazgûl and at least two different versions of Gollum appear around the city in various spots.

The Embassy Theatre in November 2003
The Embassy Theatre in November 2003

I should also note that earthquakes are not rare in Wellington either – so much so that, when Christchurch suffered their first big earthquake in September 2010, some residents assumed that they’d merely felt the shock waves of a massive quake in Wellington.

In any event, less than two months after the eagles were installed, the earthquake struck and down they came.

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