Has the COVID-19 pandemic got you down? Well, I have just the thing to cheer you up!
This article reminds me more than a little bit of the 2015 Norwegian film The Wave (Bølgen), which my wife and I saw just a few weeks after we had visited the incredibly beautiful Geirangerfjord in Norway, where the film is set. It made me want never to go back there again. Sort of.
But if even the thought of a mega-tsunami hasn’t filled you with happiness and bliss, may I interest you in an asteroid strike?
I’ve occasionally cited a book here by Jeff Wynn and Louise Wynn, entitled Everyone is a Believer: The Growing Convergence of Science and Religion. I’ll do it again in this context. If you would like to read three sobering pages, have a look at the section in their book about what they call “city buster” asteroids. The section, pages 49-51, is called “Death from the Sky” and is subtitled “Nobody is Safe. Ever. Anywhere.”
Jeff Wynn co-authored an article in the November 1998 issue of Scientific American, “The Day the Sands Caught Fire: A desert impact site demonstrates the wrath of rocks from space” about the 1863 Wabar asteroid impact event, a Hiroshima-explosion-sized impact that occurred in the so-called “Empty Quarter” of what is today Saudi Arabia. He and his wife contend that such events are relatively common — they count at least five in the space of a century, all of which occurred, fortunately, in unpopulated or scarcely populated areas — and declare that there is essentially nothing that we can do to prevent them. “It means,” they say, “we are helpless beneath the sky.”
They suggest storing a year’s supply of food.