Inside Japan’s Earthquake Simulator

From 1veritasium, 2veritasium, or sciencium.

This is the world’s largest earthquake simulator, here’s how it works. For a free trial to Shopify go to

If you’re looking for a molecular modeling kit, head to to try Snatoms – a kit I invented where the atoms snap together magnetically.

A massive thank you to everyone at NIED for allowing access to their facility. Massive thanks to Okouchi-san for arranging this shoot.

A huge thank you to Dr. Yohsuke Kawamata for the tour of E-defense and for sharing his deep expertise.

Nakashima, M., et al. (2018). Experiences, accomplishments, lessons, and challenges of E‐defense. Tests using world’s largest shaking table. Japan Architectural Review, 1(1), 4-17. –
Suganuma, K. (2005). 3-D Full-Scale Earthquake Testing Facility (E-Defense). NISTEP Science & Technology Foresight Center. –
Ohtani, K., et al. (2004). Construction of E-Defense (3-D full-scale earthquake testing facility). In Thirteenth World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (Vol. 189). –
Horiuchi, T., et al. (2022). Contributions of E-Defense Shaking Table to Earthquake Engineering and its Future. Journal of Disaster Research, 17(6), 985-999. –
Nakamura, I., et al. (2008). E-Defense experiments on full-scale wooden houses. In Proceedings of the 14th World conference on earthquake engineering, Beijing, China (pp. 12-17). –
Japan: The Next Big Quake. Financial Times. –

Images & Video:
Kobe earthquake compilation –

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Directed by Will Wood and Petr Lebedev
Written by Will Wood, Petr Lebedev and Derek Muller
Edited by Jack Saxon and Trenton Oliver
Animated by Fabio Albertelli, Ivy Tello, Leigh Williamson, David Szakaly
Filmed by Petr Lebedev, Lui Kimishima and Derek Muller
Produced by Will Wood, Petr Lebedev, Han Evans and Derek Muller
Thumbnail by Ren Hurley

Additional video/photos supplied by Getty Images and NIED (E-defense)
Music from Epidemic Sound