The children learned about earthquakes that happen under the ocean but not the old story about California falling into the ocean! In fact, our earthquakes are proof in and of themselves that we cannot fall into the ocean. Read the description under Epicenter of how an earthquake happens. Earthquakes only happen when a fault is pushed together by huge forces in the earth to create friction. Without those huge forces pushing the fault together, the fault would slide smoothly and not produce earthquakes. The image of the Earth swallowing us up during an earthquake (so well-beloved of novelists and movie makers) was encouraged by pictures from the great Alaskan earthquake of Good Friday 1964 (magnitude 9.2, far greater than anything we will see in California) showing great fissures in the ground with cars falling into them. Those fissures were caused by liquefaction of the soil that caused the soil to flow down hill and in fact existed within only the top few meters of the ground.