A coming “mega-tsunami”?

A coming “mega-tsunami”? October 20, 2020


The disaster scene
Geirangerfjord and the small town of Geiranger, where the 2015 Norwegian movie “Bølgen” was filmed, from the southeast. (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


From The Atlantic“The Vaccine News That Really Matters: Soon COVID-19 vaccine makers will release early data from large clinical trials, and the results could be ambiguous.”




Has the COVID-19 pandemic got you down?  Well, I have just the thing to cheer you up!


“Ice Melt in Alaska Threatens to Unleash Unprecedented ‘Mega-Tsunami’, Scientists Warn”


Bølgen poster
Film poster for “Bølgen” (Wikimedia Commons fair use)


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.




NASA Chicxulub painting
This painting, by Donald E. Davis, depicts the Chicxulub asteroid slamming into tropical, shallow seas of the sulfur-rich Yucatan Peninsula in what is today southeast Mexico. The aftermath of this immense asteroid collision, which occurred approximately 65-66 million years ago, is believed by some (though, I’m told, not by young-earth creationist me) to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and many other species on Earth. The impact spewed hundreds of billions of tons of sulfur into the atmosphere, producing a worldwide blackout as well as freezing temperatures that persisted for at least a decade. Shown in this painting are pterodactyls, flying reptiles with wingspans of up to 50 feet, gliding above low tropical clouds.
(A public domain image from NASA)


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?


“Asteroid could strike Earth day prior to election: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: Space rock the size of a refrigerator, traveling at 25K mph, won’t cause serious damage, scientist says”


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.



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