An early morning rumbling was recorded deep below the hamlet of Fryup, earthquake experts have said.
The British Geological Survey said there were no reports that anyone felt the 5am earthquake, which had a magnitude of 2.8.
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Seismologist David Galloway said normally an earthquake of that strength would be noticed by the public but this one was nearly 19 miles (30km) below the surface, deep underground.
He said: "If it was shallower, we would expect to have had a few further reports by now.
"The time of day it happened also influences this as well."
The earthquake was so deep it could only have happened naturally, it was understood, and was nothing to do with any human activity.
Fryup is in the North York Moors National Park and has no pub or shops.
Its unusual name was nothing to do with English breakfasts but was thought to be honouring the Anglo-Saxon goddess Frige.