Which natural disaster are YOU? Nature Unleashed brings the perfect storm to HMNS

Discover the most incredible, violent, stunning events of the natural world in Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters, opening at HMNS on Friday, May 23. From violent tremors to massive explosions, from the eye of the storm to funnel clouds, Nature Unleashed takes you inside natural disasters for a perspective like you’ve never had before.

tornadoAnd now (via a super-unscientific method), you can find out which natural disaster fits you best! Just pick your favorite title below:

What’s the title of your natural disaster autobiography?

  1. Shaken, Never Stirred: How I Moved the World
  2. My Awesomeness Grants More Awesomeness (M.A.G.M.A)
  3. Topical Depression: Spiraling Out of Control
  4. Sharknado Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me

Scroll down to find out your natural disaster.

If you answered 1, then you’re an earthquake!
If you answered 2, then you’re a volcano!
If you answered 3, then you’re a hurricane!
If you answered 4, then you’re a tornado!

Here’s what your natural disaster says about you:

EARTHQUAKE
You are the constant rearranger. Never content to leave things be for too long, eventually you’ve just gotta shake it up! You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders but try to hide it most of the time: stealth is your middle name. People may not notice you until you reach your breaking point – but then no one can ignore you!

Must-see destination: Mariana Trench
Perfect career: Fracking
Best friends: Terra “The Tectonic Plate” Firma and Gio Thur-Mal

VOLCANO
You’re the rock of the group — until you’re not. Most of the time, you’re as stable as can be. Cool and collected, taking it all in. But every so often something sets you off and you EXPLODE. No one can hide from you when that fiery temper comes out. People worship and revile you all over the world for your destructive and rejuvenating capabilities.

Must-see destination:  Pompeii
Favorite movie: Joe vs. the Volcano
Favorite pastime: Making Hawaii

HURRICANE
You never stay in one place for too long, but you sure do make an impression — or, rather, depression (of the air) wherever you go. You are very strong, but don’t know the extent of your strength. You absolutely love media attention, but your 15 minutes are never really enough. So you make sure to come around at regular intervals so that no one can forget about you.

Must-see destination: Florida
Favorite drink: Cyclone
Favorite activity: Changing your name

TORNADO
You’re still mad Dorothy got the credit for dropping a house on the Wicked Witch of the West. You tend to have short bursts of activity, but that doesn’t mean you don’t put your all into it. You’re generally pretty clumsy, and tend to make a mess wherever you go.

Must-see destination: Oz
Favorite game: Twister
Favorite movie: Sharknado

Now that you’ve been unscientifically diagnosed as the force of nature you are, come learn about the real science behind all of these natural disasters at Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters.

Feel the ground shake during an earthquake, witness the fury of an erupting volcano, or get swept away by a hurricane or tornado. This exhibit is full of discoveries just waiting to happen!

Get your tickets today! Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters opens at HMNS May 23.  

Storm Chaser: Tornadoes

Tornado and Lightning
Creative Commons License photo credit: tlindenbaum

Last night, severe storm researcher Tim Samaras gave a thrilling lecture on what it’s like to head towards a tornado – when everyone else is running the other way. He also discussed why he does it – and what can be learned from the data he gathers. He was kind enough to share with us here, as well:

I’m excited to visit the Houston area to talk about something I’m most passionate about: storm chasing! Actually, I’m more than just a storm chaser; I measure these destructive tornadoes by placing special probes in their path. While dangerous to do, the data gathered from my tornado probes is extremely valuable to help us understand how powerful tornadoes really are.

For those who are wondering if real storm chasing and instrument deployments inside tornadoes are similar to the movie Twister, I have disappointing news for you. They are very different. There are no sisters, sidewinders, fingers of God, and above all, no breaks for steak and eggs at aunt Edna’s house. We don’t drive through corn fields, not worrying about where to fold the maps, and most of all, the tornadoes look…well…real.

The probes I deploy in the paths of tornadoes measure the pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction of tornado cores as they pass over the probes. We also have special probes containing video cameras that provide visualization of tornado cores as tornadoes pass overhead. Our research fielding begins on May 1, and runs through the end of July, and we’re teamed up with Iowa State University and the National Geographic Society.

Our field research program is called TWISTEX (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes EXperiment). You can read more about this groundbreaking program, and follow along with our past and future missions here. I also have a personal website, and it contains information on how to get a copy of some of the most dramatic tornado footage ever captured.

Looking at the local forecast, it looks like we have a chance of some strong thunderstorms right here in the Houston area this afternoon and evening. Certainly quite a treat for us, as we left snow flurries back in Denver yesterday!