This week, minor earthquakes with epicenters in Berks County rattled the heart of the Deitscherei, so it is time to revisit some scant references that had grown cold over the years. Although the names were usually unknown to folks with whom I had spoken, more people knew of an "Earthquake Giant" ("Erdbewung-Ries") as a concept.
There are at least three named "earthquake Giants" from different regions:
- Der Bollerfuus ("rumble foot") was said to live within the Montour Ridge near Mausdale, PA, in Montour County.
- In a similar manner, Der Gerumpelfuus (also translating to "rumble foot") was said to live in Raccoon Mountain near Williamsport in Lycoming County, PA.
- The third, der Zidderfuus ("tremble foot") has no designated home but was actually the name reported around the Lancaster Seismic Zone, which is the region with the most seismic activity in Pennsylvania.
In the case of their more recent activity, they were said to have been asleep but were re-awakened by human actions, particularly, whether accurately or not, by fracking or by wastewater disposal. In an angry state, they were said "to shake the world around" ("die Welt rumzuschiddle").