In the manga, alchemy is said to have been taught to Amestrians over 350 years prior to the start of the series by a mysterious man known as The Philosopher from the East and is explained to harness the diastrophic energy that is released from the movement and collision of tectonic plates deep within the Earth's crust to power transmutation.

I am simply confused between the correlation of tectonic plates and alchemy's power. How does the tectonic plates moving act as the fuel for any non-p.stone transmutations??? Alkahestry's source of power being "chi", or the lifeforce of the earth itself makes perfect sense; so why is alchemy powered by the movement of tectonic plates? That's so random to me.

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    What kind of an answer are you looking for? If you are looking for something scientific, you aren't going to get it. At best, it's because that's what the author chose. – Becuzz Feb 20 at 12:11

Seriously, the most explanation we ever get is this one panel in chapter 67: Panel about earth energy as trasmutation energy source.

If you're wondering how this manages to do transmutations other than earth based ones, remember, the earth isn't the source of the transmutation itself, just the energy used in it. Just the necessary materials (the equivalent exchange) aren't enough to perform a transmutation. You also need the knowlede of how to rearrange the material to its new form (which is why alchemy isn't more widely used) and the energy to actually do the rearranging.

Amestris' alchemy uses the energy in the ground (previously caused by plate tectonics, currently by... Well, let's not spoil it), while earter alkahestry uses natural chi flows.

Never explaned beyond that one panel, since it's not really important to the story.
Cool action and existential philosophy are.

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