Earthquakes start deep underground, and the epicenter is the central location of the earthquake, the point of land right above where an earthquake begins.
When violent movement happens beneath the Earth’s surface, earthquakes send out destructive waves of vibration, sort of like ripples after you throw a rock into a lake. The epicenter is the place on the surface where those ripples start. The Greek epikentros means “situated on a center,” and that’s where you’ll find the epicenter, dead center in an earthquake’s destruction. Of course, you don’t really want to find it, because it’s kind of dangerous there.