United States Navy testing of its new F-35C fighter jet off the coast of New Jersey caused a noise so loud that some thought it was an earthquake. But the noise in question wasn’t geological in nature, but rather a sonic boom. The shock waves generated by a plane cresting the sound barrier are so powerful that they’ll easily shatter windows, like these two jets did in Brazil back in 2012.

The Mirage 2000 fighter jet sounds like it’s just barely breaking through the sound barrier, but even then, the shockwave is big enough to shatter many of the windows in Brazil’s Supreme Court building. No one was hurt, as reports at the time noted, but even still, it’s a bit of a crazy pass.


In case you’re wondering whether or not militaries have used this exact sort of thing as an actual weapon of war, and I’m sure you are by now, the answer to that is a firm yes. The Israeli Air Force, in particular, has used it as a warning tactic going back to the 1970s, all the way up to the present day, for when they want to send the message of “we do not like what you are doing, please refrain, because the next time we do a pass like this it will not end well for you.”

At least I’m guessing that’s what it means. As of this typing, all of the windows around me remain intact.

Contact the author at ballaban@jalopnik.com.
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