The geologically active region surrounding the edge of the Pacific Ocean, known as the Ring of Fire, has dramatically increased it’s activity over the past week, with numerous earthquakes above magnitude 6.0 occurring in various regions along the Pacific Basin’s periphery. While mainstream geologists and seismologists maintain that the increase in activity in the Ring of Fire over the past four decades can statistically be accounted for as random chance, it’s still far from unusual for large earthquakes in seemingly unconnected regions to occur within days of one another. This raises the obvious question: are these earthquakes somehow related?

On April 14, the island of Kumamoto in southwest Japan experienced a magnitude 6.2 earthquake, followed the next day by an even stronger 7.0 event, with 32 killed over the course of the two days. The day after that, on April 16, an even stronger 7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador near the town of Muisne, killing 350 people and injuring over 2,000 others. Rescue workers in both countries are working to save survivors that may still be trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Much like the sudden burst of seismic activity seen around the globe in August of 2014, this month has seen a similar increase in major seismic activity: Indonesia, on the exact opposite side of the globe from Ecuador, suffered major earthquakes on March 2 and April 6, measuring 7.8 and 6.0 respectively. Since April 15, Alaska, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Sumatra, and Tonga have experienced an increase in seismic activity, although thankfully these earthquakes were not nearly as strong as the Ecuadorian and Japanese events.

But are they really linked, or are they not related at all, as mainstream geologists assure us? "It’s way too early to tell," explains USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso, in a statement delivered on April 17. "It’s one day after the Ecuador earthquake and two days after the Japanese earthquake, so no real research has been done on these quakes as far as they’re being connected."

"Usually we don’t think earthquake are connected across the ocean," Caruso continues. "There’s ongoing research in ‘remote triggering’, the idea that a big quake can cause another quake a long distance away."