Volcanic eruptions are something of a spectator sport today, with orbital satellites and high-speed connectivity bringing glorious images of the planet’s pyrotechnic power to the comfortable safety of our computer screens. But a fascinating new study suggests people have been chronicling Earth’s powerful outbursts…
Eighty-five people are still unaccounted for a day after a bizarre landslide struck the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Experts say the landslide was not a natural disaster, but rather a human-made catastrophe triggered by the excessive piling of industrial waste.
The GIF above, created by NASA, may leave you wondering why our government is building a planetary shield. Something you’re not telling us, NASA? According to the space agency, NASA’s shield plan has nothing to do with intergalactic threats—it’s protection against a danger on the ground. The space agency wants to…
Scientists have just uncovered one of the largest tsunami events in the geologic record, and naturally, it started with an epic splash. 73,000 years ago, the eastern flank of Cape Verde’s Fogo volcano collapsed into the sea, kicking up an 800-foot wave.
The JKL Museum of Telephony, dedicated to preserving the history of phones, was destroyed last week as one of the worst wildfires of the summer raged across the central valley of California.
What can ancient stories tell us about modern disasters? Hakai magazine took a look at the history of indigenous stories about long-ago earthquakes, and what they can reveal to us about the long history (and possible future) of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.
The explosions that devastated Tianjin yesterday were so powerful, they registered as seismic activity by China’s National Earthquake Network. And the “quakes” geophysicists saw don’t even begin to capture the magnitude of the blasts.
India is known for becoming a sweltering furnace in May, but last month was exceptionally brutal, with temperatures hovering 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for nearly two weeks. By June 4th, the heat wave had claimed over 2,500 lives, making it the fifth deadliest in recorded history.
On May 10th, tropical storm Ana—the first named storm of this year’s North Atlantic hurricane season—made landfall along the Carolina coast. NASA scientists took the opportunity to observe the storm’s wind dynamics with one of their newest toys and produced this spectacular wind map while they were at it.
Calbuco, a stratovolcano in southern Chile, began erupting yesterday at 7pm local time. First spewing massive ash clouds then, at 10pm, erupting explosively as its fragile structure collapsed inwards. Here’s all the stunning imagery and video; we’ll keep it updated as this develops. You can see it from space!
When the destructive forces of nature are unleashed, the results can be horrifying. The world turns violent and unstable, with huge loss of life and massive devastation. It's rare to be able to capture these disturbing events when they occur, but some videographers have managed it. Here are some hair-raising videos of…
An analysis of 583 cultures shows that challenging environmental conditions, such as floods and famines, lead cultures to adopt beliefs in moralizing, high gods. The research may help explain how and why certain religions emerged, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
A recent survey asked 1,500 Americans what they fear most. The answers may surprise you.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of COINTELPRO, a major FBI operation to "expose, disrupt and otherwise neutralize" domestic political organizations deemed a threat to the U.S. It's just been revealed that many crucial questions about that period will remain forever unanswered, due to archival…
Typhoon Neoguri slammed through Japan yesterday bringing widespread flooding. A closed circuit camera captured this jaw-dropping footage of a debris flow that levelled trees as if they were matchsticks.
A brand new story by The City and the City author China Miéville went up at Tor.com yesterday, and it's a wonderfully weird and panoramic tale of nature gone berserk. When massive icebergs appear over London, nobody knows what to do... but some people want to climb them.
They look like the work of a twisted science artist. Some maniac who spent hours dreaming up nightmare shapes made of ice. But no, these monstrous and lovely ice sculptures were formed by natural processes. Here are some of the most other-worldly ice formations on Earth.
There's nothing more terrible to witness than a huge natural disaster. When the elements turn against us, it's the ultimate reminder that we're not in control over this planet as much as we like to believe. Here are some beautiful, harrowing images of nature's destructive fury.
Creating a volcano out of nothing sounds like a plan concocted by Doctor Doom. But there is at least one way we could try to create a volcano in real life, too.
On October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy's storm surge advanced mercilessly on New York City. Subway lines we inundated. City streets turned fluvial. Gawker's server host did its best impression of Niagara Falls. Shit got — as they say — real.