9.17am, the Broadsheet virtual office: Slack.

Tomas: Um. Did anyone else just feel the earth shake
Matteo: Ummmmm
Michila: That was heavy
Julia: What the ??
Maxine: I thought it was just drilling near me
Katya: Wtf – was that an earthquake?
Chynna: It went on forever
Michila: Another wild day in Melbourne
Lucy: I thought it was some large person trying to exercise upstairs until the floor started moving.
Sinéad: NOPE, SORRY, TAKE IT BACK, NOT INTERESTED. I can only deal with one catastrophe at a time, I’m old fashioned that way!!!

Conversations like this one exploded on people’s phones and desktops across Australia’s east – and as far south as Tasmania – this morning when a magnitude-6 earthquake hit at about 9.15am and rumbled on for a long 20 to 30 seconds.

For some, confused reactions were broadcast live on national TV – like the ABC’s Michael Rowland and Tony Armstrong.

For many Australians, this was their first earthquake experience. And like we’ve done with pretty much anything 2020 and 2021 have thrown at us, the first thing we did was jump online to crack jokes and share our experiences.

There were memes.

There were puns.

There were still digs at the Sydney-Melbourne rivalry.


There were attempts at humour despite the damage.


(p.s. Betty’s Burgers says the team is okay and there was nobody in the restaurant at the time.)

Brisbane even took a couple swings.

Of course there was satire from the Betoota Advocate.

There was even an eerie prediction from yesterday.

And the Collins Street falcons were shook.

Broadsheet’s editors and staffers have been sending each other memes, tweets, reactions, screenshots and videos back and forth – here are some of the best ones.

And from the r/Melbourne subreddit, this exchange:

u/lahlah99: Monday – Lockdown, Tuesday – Riots, Wednesday – Earthquae, Thursday – Floods?
u/RedOx103: Friday – Aliens

One thing’s for sure – if the plague starts tomorrow, the internet will be all over it.