The 8.6-magnitude earthquake that happened in the middle of the Indian Ocean on April 11 appears to have triggered four more earthquakes in the following days, all over 6.0 in magnitude, and all on the Pacific Coast of North America. The four consecutive quakes comprised one off the coast of Oregon, two in the Gulf of California, and one in the Mexican trench. Seismologists had previously held firm to the idea that such connections between quakes, outside the immediate aftershock zone, were nearly impossible.

The UC Berkeley scientists behind the most recent study say the links between these quakes remain something of a rarity, and occurred because the original quake was centered in the middle of an ocean plate, and it moved horizontally instead of up and down. This in turn generated more waves beneath the earth's surface, and triggered the follow-up quakes. Seismologists now say they'll be on the lookout for such large, subsequent seismic events if another such big quake occurs.

But yeah, this field of science still feels like it's in its infancy. And hopefully that doesn't mean we're doomed.

Let's hope they can pull that early-warning system together before the next big one, huh?