Of all the ways the planet makes us feel unwanted, earthquakes are some of the most destructive. Across the globe precautions are being made in earthquake prone areas, in particular: earthquake-proof buildings. Though devastating, earthquakes can be viewed as the Earth crust's way of stretching, as tension is built up between tectonic plate faults and then suddenly released as the plates move. The study of such seismic activity is known as seismology, and increases our ability to predict and prepare for earthquakes.
These devices are an important part of recording and understanding potentially destructive seismic activity, carefully designed to detect the smallest tremors.