Forces of Nature

We see the destruction that the Earth can unleash in the news on a regular basis. Here you can learn about hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other forces of nature.

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Numerous predictions of a 2012 apocalypse cite the Bible as their source material. But does the good book actually contain this information?

By John Kelly

Every time disaster strikes, one man's name arises alongside the obsessive news coverage: Nostradamus. According to some folks, the famed French seer has predicted many of the planet's gloomy twists and turns. What did he have to say about 2012?

By Jonathan Atteberry

It seems like every few years someone comes out with a new doomsday prophecy. From aliens and asteroids to floods and earthquakes, how do people think the world will end?

By Clint Pumphrey

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As the clock ticks closer to Dec. 21, 2012, discussion regarding what exactly will happen to the world and human civilization continues to heat up. What are some of the wackier conspiracy theories about the year 2012?

By Jane McGrath

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?

By Jane McGrath

Have you ever wondered how weather stations gather all of their data? Even though technology for predicting the weather has improved, simple weather balloons do a lot of the hard work every day.

By Tristin Hopper

The path to disaster or salvation can be decided by the flick of a wrist -- it often all comes down to the wisdom of those final, Hail Mary schemes. What are five of the most incredible?

By Julia Layton

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Many areas were completely destroyed by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. Browse these haunting pictures of Japan's destruction following the earthquake and tsunami.

By Jessika Toothman

Is hurricane intensity increasing? It all depends on who you ask. How have scientists come to so many different conclusions about the ferocity of these seasonal storms?

By Jessika Toothman

A perfect climate means different things to different people. These 10 countries span the globe and offer a wide range of climates to satisfy any taste -- hot, cold or in-between.

By Jennifer Horton

There may be a time when all that stands between your home and the rising floodwaters are some sacks full of sand. Will this defense keep you safe?

By Kim Williamson

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It's not just the stuff of Hollywood movies. Tornadoes strike hundreds of times in the United States each year -- often with deadly force. These tips will greatly improve your odds of surviving a twister.

By Emilie Sennebogen

Without question, nature can produce beautiful light shows. Add wind, rain and hail, and you have an awe-inspiring event. But thunderstorms are not to be taken lightly. Here's how to stay safe as Mother Nature displays her strength.

By Sara Elliott

Who likes getting caught in a downpour without an umbrella? Not this guy and not us. Are we ever going to achieve rainmaker status so we can dial up a few gentle showers one day and a blast of sunshine the next?

By William Harris

We can put a person on the moon. We can zip particles around accelerators at insanely high speeds. But nope, we cannot tell you for sure whether you'll need that animal print umbrella tomorrow. Why not?

By William Harris

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These earthquake pictures show building damage, road buckling and fault lines exposed from earthquakes. Click through our gallery of earthquake pictures.

We know where major fault lines crisscross the Earth and where about 80 percent of the world's earthquakes occur; it's the "when" that seismologists have valiantly struggled with. Why?

By Robert Lamb

Wildfire isn't always bad for a forest -- it can clear brush, fertilize soil and open new space. But if a prescribed burn or even a small campfire gets out of control, it can quickly destroy forest, homes and wildlife. How do wildfires start?

By Jessika Toothman

Volcanoes are majestic -- and deadly -- geological formations. See pictures of the world's most incredible volcanoes and the damage they can cause.

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If you've ever lived in a northern climate, you know snowstorms — and the damage they can cause — quite well. Heavy snowfall is just one mark of a bad storm, but the biggest snowstorms of all time also brought strong winds and cold air.

By Ed Grabianowski & Jesslyn Shields

At some point in your life, a coach may have enthusiastically told you to "fight fire with fire." Coach, of course, was speaking metaphorically. Do firefighters actually employ this strategy?

By Robert Lamb

Fujita (foo JEE tuh), Tetsuya (tet SOO yuh) Theodore (1920 - 1998) was a Japanese-born American meteorologist.

Abbe, Cleveland (1838-1916), a United States meteorologist, often called the "father of the Weather Bureau." As director of the Cincinnati Observatory, 1868-73, Abbe issued daily weather reports, which led to the federal government's establishment of a national weather service.

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Why are there so many pictures of rainbows? And what’s on the other side? Hum along with us as you browse through a few snaps of one of nature’s most beautiful effects.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

If the big one struck, would you be ready? No? Then start reading and stocking up on food, water and other essential supplies. And hurry up. For some of you, it's not "if" but "when."

By Jacob Silverman