Natural Disasters

Unpredictable forces of nature like tornadoes and hurricanes can have a devastating impact on humans and our environment. Learn how natural disasters work and how science aims to better predict them.

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Where did the idea of a 2012 apocalypse come from?

You've probably heard people whispering about the end of the world coming up in 2012. But how do they know for certain? Where did the rumor start?


Could Seahawks fans cause a major earthquake?

Seattle Seahawks fans were jumping up and down as their team played in the Super Bowl. Actually, they've been jumping up and down all season. Could all that excited flailing about ever cause the Big One?

10 Worst Hurricanes of All Time

You don't want to go to a party if Mitch, Katrina and Andrew are some of the guests. Which hurricanes are considered the most destructive, and how many deaths did they cause?

Does severe weather hype make people under-react?

"It sure looks like a catastrophic storm, Bob." Or so it seems that every TV weather reporter says while standing in front of some dramatically swelling waves. But can the drama backfire? Does the hype machine cause people to overlook severe weather?

Why do people buy up all the bread and milk before a storm hits?

You've heard the weather forecast on the radio: A storm is coming. That means time to hit the grocery store for bread and milk! But why those items, when they're likely to spoil with a power cut?

Did global warming cause Hurricane Sandy?

The thought probably crossed your mind. It crossed ours, too. So here's what we found when we investigated the connection between the Frankenstorm and the global issue.

Hurricane Sandy, October 2012

Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast of the United States on Oct. 29, 2012, causing extensive flooding and damage. Millions of homes, businesses and even hospitals lost power in the wake of the storm.

How Fire Tornadoes Work

Inject heat, ash and fire into a spinning mass of air. Watch as a funnel of flames leaps from the ground, reaches for the heavens and then races forward to consume everything in its path. Is such a phenomenon possible?

How Drought Works

What happens when the rains cease and water levels dry up precipitously? Everything from abundant grasses to apex predators suffers the consequences.

Where do hurricanes come from and how are they formed. Find out where hurricanes come from in this article from HowStuffWorks.

If you flew over an earthquake, would you feel the plane shake?

Let's say a big one strikes the home planet. You, however, happen to be flying above the earthquake's epicenter when the natural disaster ripples through. Would you feel it?