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Earthquakes, Migraines, Crave Popcorn – Charlotte King Effect

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Have you ever had an earthquake migraine?

Have you ever had an earthquake migraine?

Do you crave popcorn? Have migraines without reason? Get dizzy?

I've suffered migraines on and off for over 25 years. Sometimes stress could account for them, but many times this was not the case. I've gone to emergency rooms with blood coming from my nose and ears and a migraine so intense I'd have people squeeze my head as hard as they could just to stop the pain for a minute. I've intentionally hit my head off a wall during one of these episodes because the pain was so great and I could not control myself. I'd eaten popcorn for breakfast. Yes, popcorn! It was as if I couldn't get enough. I had dreamed about popcorn, craved it for days.

At the store a couple days before I told my husband, "I feel like I'll die if I don't get some popcorn." I think he thought I was exaggerating, but I was not. I literally felt as though I might die if I didn't get popcorn. He loves me so he bought popcorn and I ate it for 4 days.

Originally, I believed the migraines were due to prior head injuries and some of that may still be the cause. However, I went to the doctor 8 times in one year for severe migraines. The shots I had at home didn't do the trick.

I had been sitting in training for my job when all a sudden the chair felt like it fell through the floor.

People in my training class stared at me like I was crazy. I grabbed the edge of the desk and swooned. I felt like vomiting and the room was spinning. I asked if anyone else watched the Smart board presentation moving and everyone said no.

Immediately after I got the absolute worst migraine I've ever had in my life. I prayed over the commode as I vomited profusely. I had to have assistance walking because the ground was seemingly moving beneath my feet. It must be an inner ear infection. I'd have a couple of them and it seemed quite the same.

I went to the doctor within the hour and she told me my ears looked fine. She couldn't find what was wrong with me and drew blood for lab work. She gave me a stronger shot than the one's I had at home, but even then I was miserable. She asked the strangest question, "Do you notice your migraines happening around the time earthquakes happen?"

Flabbergasted, I said, "Huh?" She then told me I may have earthquake sensitivity and in Missouri we had a 4.0 earthquake an hour before. I'd never heard of such a thing and I told her I don't follow earthquakes.

Ok - this is getting creepy. What the heck does an earthquake have to do with a migraine? I went online when I felt better and searched, "Earthquake Sensitivity." I laughed about it at first. It seemed ridiculous, but I had suffered for so long and I had to know.

That's when I learned about, "The Charlotte King Effect." The name comes from a woman named Charlotte King, who is known for her ability to predict earthquakes and volcanoes. She has a predominance of symptoms as an earthquake or volcano nears. One of those symptoms is a migraine! Other symptoms included, vertigo and being imbalanced.

Upon further researching in forums and across the web, I found many others like her. Then I found popcorn! There are many people who crave popcorn just before an earthquake, including Charlotte King. She describes her experience here. It turns out, it's not just popcorn. It seems any corn product may do, but I crave popcorn and occasionally corn chips.

Now I pay attention to my migraines AND earthquakes. Here's what I've learned.

Faulkner County Arkansas is about 250 miles from me. Last year, Faulkner County experienced a long series of earthquakes.The more than 1000 quakes went on for so long, starting in the summer of 2010 and lasting into 2011, I began to be able to tell people when the earthquakes occurred over 2.3 in magnitude.

When at first I got a daily headache I didn't think about the earthquake possibility. I'd already realized there were significant earthquakes worldwide and had made a relationship to the migraines. Faulkner County brought a whole new meaning to that relationship.

After 2 days on the couch being nauseous and dizzy with a headache, I remembered earthquake sensitivity. I looked online and sure enough there were several in Faulkner County, Arkansas.During the 2 years since realizing the sensitivity to earthquakes, the only quakes I noticed affecting me were over 4.0. The Faulkner County Quakes weren't always as big, although a few were larger, but more of them affected me.

When a quake was over 3.5, I would frequently crave popcorn and have trouble putting my feet on the floor properly. I got dizzy and nauseated and a migraine would require a shot. If you've ever gotten a new pair of glasses, you understand this feeling of the ground not being where it belongs. Under 3.0, I would get a headache, uncomfortable but not a migraine and feel imbalanced. An earthquake 4.0 or more made me extremely sick. I had several body pains and my dental work hurt.

Research - My migraine's medical history became important to me.

I started digging through old hospital records and checking dates. I would then compare them to the earthquakes by year on the USGS (United States Geological Society) website. It was shocking how many migraines had occurred just before, during or immediately after the date of a large earthquake somewhere in the world.

The 8.0 earthquake in Japan in March of 2011 was incredible for me. I had been bumping into things, holding onto walls to walk and felt like vomiting for days before. The day of the quake, I felt like dying. I lay on the couch all day and barely got up at all. For 2 days following the quake I felt sick and had a migraine. I took 2 shots during that time and didn't get any relief.

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Interestingly, I haven't experienced symptoms for every single one. This makes me think there is something different about my diet, the moon phase or something that prevents some earthquakes from making me sick.

Have you experienced any of these symptoms? Have you ever considered earthquakes or volcanoes as the cause?


Christina Eason on June 02, 2016:

Thank you wonderful comments. Where can we all chat. Is there a forum for us?

Charlotte King on December 29, 2015:

Thought I would check back and see how you are doing with all the quakes in OK .. Plus the ones in Turkey and Chile, Oceania and CA/OR/NV... far too many quakes and so many symptoms. I continue to increase my data base of symptoms and precursors and feel that as time goes on, I will be able to become even more accurate than I am at this time which is about 90% including general locations. The volcanoes of which 13 are erupting at this time which are causing their own range of symptoms and we can't discount the solar activity which to me at this time, is causing far more pain and problems than the quakes and volcanoes combined. Low back pains, seismic flu./solar flu and yes even craving Popcorn.. all happening. * Charlotte King, Pioneer of Biological Earthquake Prediction and * of The Charlotte King Effect * I am glad to see so many people are now following my early research and connecting their bodies to earth movements.

gnatalie on November 30, 2015:

Let me head reflects the Pacific 'ring of fire' in that if you consider my nose being Hawaii and the left side of my head as the west Pacific and the right side being the east Pacific and the top being, yes you got it, the north Pacific, then thats a good starting point to understanding how my life is dominated by seismic events in these regions.

I get migraine, lots of pain, and have been since I was a child. Years ago the pain was a lot worse, so bad that I would be down for days just laying in bed waiting for the pain to do its thing and leave me. Nothing would touch the pain, no meds were available and all I could do is take what was ever available at the time, mostly analgesic codeine preparations that were absolutely useless. The pain always began in the top of my head and settled onto one side and the pain was blinding, searing and nausea and sickness would often follow. It would come in waves, every 45 minutes until I was wrung out, and then the Dr would be called to give an antiemetic injection, I would sleep for hours, but the pain would last for days, the longest I remember was five. Then, it was gone, like it had never been, nope, not me, must have been a dream.

One time after a spell in bed a friend of mine called me on the phone and asked me if I was feeling okay and had I recovered from my migraine? I told that I had and then it occurred to me that I hadn't talked to anyone and how could she know......She told me there had been a big earthquake the day before, I knew about it because I listened to the event on the radio while I was dealing with my pain, a lot of death, and she then told me that every time I had these migraine headaches, a few hours later, 24 - 36 hours usually a significant quake occurred. So she had called me and asked on the off chance that this had been the case, and hit the target. We then had a very long conversation about this, as I was kind of unconvinced, yet excitingly believing that perhaps this was true and I could save the world.

We started to track back on some my headaches, I had kept a diary of some of the bad ones, and matched them up with events in the USGS records, it was true, and since then I have been monitoring my 'performance'. However, relief has come along in the form of medication like Topomax (topiramate) that prevents the constant migraine events, and Zomig (zolmatriptan) that aborts the pain after a bigger one develops. So I only have to deal with pain for a day, but even so, if there a number of aftershocks to the earthquake, it can cause my head to 'rumble' as well.

The 'ring of fire' analogy is real, its scarily real. I noticed something about the position of the pain and where the quakes were occurring. Left side of my head the quake was always on the western Pacific and so on, and then I began to notice other things. Neck aches, other joint pains and back ache that I been complaining about were part of the sensitivity too, sometimes I would get out of my bed after a good nights sleep and feel like I had walked a million miles, my feet hurt like hell, more sensitivity. The ring of fire theory developed further, I started to home in on the exact place where the pain was, northeast, or southwest and by doing that I could get even closer to the correct geolocation, sometimes right on target. I am now often on facebook predicting where the next big quake is going to occur, usually over 6 magnitude and within the 12 - 36 hour timescale, sometimes 48 hours. Popcorn though has never been a craving and I don't think food in general has ever been indicated in any kind of craving.

I am a sensitive, I have no doubt about that because I have proven record amongst my friends and family and written records of my successes in predictions. I just wish the scientists would take sensitives seriously.

Misery, my ears ring 24/7 no let up, sometimes the tones change but usually its just high pitched probably about 10KHz. I am sensitive to moods, weather, geopolitical events but on the plus side I don't need a GPS, I could find my way around any country on earth, my kids love it when I go out driving, I just know where I am going.

Tams R (author) from Missouri on January 11, 2015:


I am very grateful you were able to find my article and then take the time to read it.

I will be emailing you shortly.

Thanks again!

Charlotte King on January 05, 2015:

Thank you for recognizing The Charlotte King Effect...Just wanted to share with you that the reason you do not feel all the quakes the same way is its the " Frequency " of the quake.. higher frequency does not cause near the symptoms that the low frequency does.. The Popcorn Effect is for real and its the Choline in the corn that our brains are apparently craving.. B vitamins.. I have tried taking just a B complex and have had marginal success. I too was very ill before the 9.1 in Japan but fortunately I was able to post a warning 3 days and 1 day in advance as well as 6 hours before the quake hit... Feel free to email me with any questions etc


Charlotte King on September 16, 2014:

I am Charlotte King, the Pioneer of Biological Earthquake Prediction and the one who figured out that Popcorn/corn in general is often craved by persons who feel earthquakes before they happen. My ability to predict quakes is not as cut and dried as it may seem. It started with sound that no one else could hear and thanks to Rick Tell of USEPA he verified that sounds in the ELF range were present and perhaps I was able to hear them. Then the symptoms started. It took me and my neurologist to figure out my migraines could be connected to the quake and volcanic activity. I taught myself over time to identify what symptoms went with what areas and type of event. It was due to the intensity of the symptoms that I was able to predict the major eruption and all subsequent eruptions of Mt St Helens. Since then I have predicted accurately thousands of events. There are some I thought could happen that didn't in the last 3 years but I have never missed one over 6.8-7.0 that did happen. I am on record with Caltech for the prediction of Landers and Northridge in 92 and 94 respectively. Before that the Office of Emerg Svcs in Sacramento took all my predictions and logged them and that was for Coalinga, and Morgan Hill and Eureka, and Mammoth Lakes and more. With Project Migraine, a volunteer project with the US Library of Congress, I am on record for predicting Loma Prieta and Mexico City among others. I have been tested by the US Government and at research institutions more than any other sensitive.... I have had tests in Oregon, Washington, California and at the US Bureau of Standards Magnetic Testing Labs in Boulder CO. So if you think you might be sensitive, and just aren't sure. Email me and I will be happy to share information with you.

Martin on January 14, 2014:

I get the headaches. This last one has me wondering though, because now I have a strained muscle in my left ham. Two days before the quake I could hardly run, normally I run three to five miles a day. My headaches go away right before one happens. We had a 6.3 about 53 miles off the coast of San Juan PR, at midnight 1/13/14 in the ocean. It happened at midnight and that's another strange thing, I wake up before they hit. I think whatever it is we are sensitive to, this frequency or whatever, only goes in certain directions, so it would depend on where one is located in regard to the epicenter or faultline, as to wether or not we are effected.

Tams R (author) from Missouri on November 10, 2013:


I'm sorry you're not feeling well. In my case, the only things I've found to help are Excedrin and Emetrol for nausea. The past 3 weeks have been horrible as far as nausea and vertigo for me. I haven't paid attention to earthquakes due to a busy schedule, but I live in Missouri and that is next door to OK.

I hope you will get relief soon! Please let me know what comes of your situation. Prayers!

Thank you for commenting!

twoRenchmom on November 06, 2013:

I am not sure how I found your article but I'm glad I did. I have been feeling sick, nauseous , dizzy and headache off and on for years. I too craved popcorn. But in the last two weeks it has been really bad and l even went to the doctor to try to find out what's going on with me. I get my blood tests back on Thursday. But, after ready your article , I wonder if this is what's wrong with me. I live in Oklahoma and there have been many earthquakes in the past two weeks. I went from the occasional sickness and popcorn craving to everyday sickness and craving nachos or corn chips. This is soooo weird. What did u do to feel better? Is there anything to relieve this?

Jordyn on July 20, 2013:

Update from my comment from 19 hours ago. There was a magnitude 5.8 earthquake this morning at 7:17, and many aftershocks following. This has just confirmed my suspicions about this correlation. And my headache is still present.

Jordyn on July 19, 2013:

We just had an earthquake in Wellington yesterday morning and another one in the afternoon, and today I've had the most terrible headache, and I usually never ever get headaches. I'm hoping this is just an after effect and that there is no more to come.

Tams R (author) from Missouri on October 30, 2012:

Sammy that is terrible. I'm sorry about your tragedy. I pray you will find help soon. I cannot imagine!

Tams R (author) from Missouri on October 30, 2012:

K.c. glad to be able to help you in putting the pieces together.

It's always good to know we are not alone.

Sammy on October 29, 2012:

My mom and dad and my brothers and sisters all 10 of them died by the 2004 Tsunami when i was 11 years old now i am 18 years old and i have had no help for 8 years no one wants to help me

casperdenka on October 28, 2012:

I have thought of this for the last 30 yrs. about the headaches and earthquakes, but not until today did I think of looking it up after having

a horrible couple of days with headache turning into the dreadful migraine and not feeling at all well. Then this morning after a horrible night my husband told me of the British Columbia quake that hit last night and one down in L.A. . I live on the S.W. Washington Coast on the Long Beach Peninsula. I am extremely excited to finally put 2 and 2 together after thinking for years that I would get the headaches when there were quakes. So glad to see there are other sensitives that posted and hope I can find a site for people like us to figure this out even more.

Such as: where they might hit, how large etc.. If anyone know of any informative sites lets post them. Thanks in advance for any info


Max on October 24, 2012:

I go nuts before a big Earthquake

Tams R (author) from Missouri on March 15, 2012:

I too had a migraine behind my right eye with this set of earthquakes in Japan. It came with stars flashing through my eyes and bad pain. I was dizzy for 2 days preceding the bigger quake too.

Maybe you have found a reason for your migraines as well. Sometimes having an answer is the most important thing.

Best of luck to you! Thanks for commenting.

lillian on March 14, 2012:

I am 67yrs old,and I have had migrains since I was 14yrs old.I've been diagnosed with 4 kinds of headaches.However,Headaches have disappeared since I started menapause when I turned 55. I do still get (eye migrains)and strangely enough just before earthquakes of 6.or higher.As I just had one a ery bad one at about 2.30am.Then I hear about another earthquake in Japan ?

Tams R (author) from Missouri on February 21, 2012:

Redelf: Thank you for reading and commenting.

RedElf from Canada on February 21, 2012:

Fascinating information. Rated up and interesting!

Tams R (author) from Missouri on February 11, 2012:

Pcunix, It's ok, I'm not made of glass. I can take it.

Tony Lawrence from SE MA on February 11, 2012:

I don't know enough about you to cast any stones, but Clueless Are Me :)

Tams R (author) from Missouri on February 11, 2012:

Pcunix, Thanks for commenting. You'd certainly think you'd recognize a migraine, but you're not the first person I've heard of who didn't realize what was wrong. Perhaps you should look into earthquakes as well. Who knows we both might be clueless peas in a pod. :)

Tony Lawrence from SE MA on February 11, 2012:

Interesting. I have only recently realized that I get migraines. You'd think headaches that begins like a hammer blow might give me a clue, bu no, they didn't.

I know, that sounds incredible, but I'm a very clueless sort :)

Tams R (author) from Missouri on January 31, 2012:

James, Thank you for reading my story. I'm just glad I was able to find a reason for so many migraines.

James A Watkins from Chicago on January 31, 2012:

Wow! I am really sorry that you are thus afflicted. But the story you told here is amazing. I'd never heard about any of this but it rings true to me. Thank you for this outstanding Hub.

Tams R (author) from Missouri on January 21, 2012:

Marcy, Thanks for your enthusiasm and props. I think it's not a well studied occurrence and in my lifetime I wonder if an answer will be known. But, I think awareness is important especially for people who may experience migraines and not have a known cause. It's somewhat of a relief just knowing.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on January 21, 2012:

This is an A hub! Voted up and interesting. I absolutely believe this is possible - there are numerous documented instances of animals behaving erratically and panicking before natural disasters. It makes sense that changes in (whatever - barometric pressure?) could cause headaches. As for the popcorn - maybe salt, fat and carbs? Very interesting to ponder.

Tams R (author) from Missouri on January 21, 2012:

I know Leann, it seems impossible. Thanks for reading and commenting.

leann2800 on January 21, 2012:

popcorn? I never would have thought of that.

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