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Mother Nature Hates Us: Polar Vortexes, Deadly Lakes & More

Mother Gaia gets creative with murdering us.

Sure, we’re all familiar with a rattling earthquake and (as of recently) a brutal "polar vortex," but it turns out the earth has all sorts of neat ways to brutally murder us! Isn’t that great news? So, just in case you were sleeping a little too well at night, we’ve collected some of the little-known ways Mother Earth intends to get back at us for inventing plastic, aerosol, and a world in which Britney Spears tickets are still a hot commodity.

Ice Tsunamis

(Photo: AFP/Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014)

We here in the continental United States have been lucky enough to avoid a serious tsunami of the liquid variety for most of our history. But earth, being the angry asshole that it is, isn’t letting us off that easy. An ice tsunami is caused by slow, sustained winds blowing sheets of ice right the fuck out of a lake, which gain momentum and are generally pretty unstoppable (but you're welcome to give it a shot – we’ll wait right here). The waves can bring up to 30 feet of ice ashore because, um, who gives a shit why...just run.


(Photo: Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014)

Do you like walking? Not anymore you don’t! Next time you're out on a stroll you’ll probably be unable to shake the thought of fumaroles - chasms thinly covered by enough crust for you to fall through, only to be instantly killed by the almost-complete saturation of carbon dioxide. These little pockets of poisonous gas could be the most personal way for you to be earth-murdered. It’s like the planet takes you into its bosom and smothers you quietly with a pillow while whispering, “Shhhh, it’ll all be over soon, my love.”

Frost Quakes 

(Photo:| Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014)

Given the rock-bottom temperatures we’ve endured lately, it’s a wonder we haven’t heard more about frost quakes. These horrifying events occur when the water in the ground freezes so hard and so quickly that the ground (grass and pavement alike) literally and almost instantaneously splits open, causing a deafening crack and even a small tremor. Then, flesh-eating demons crawl out and drag you kicking and screaming to the depths of Hades. OK, so maybe it doesn’t happen precisely that way, but is it any less terrifying without the last bit?

Heat Waves

(Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/ Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014)

A brutal heat wave once swept through Europe, killing an estimated 70,000 people, destroying a large percentage of crops, and possibly even annihilating entire species of certain animals. In what Dark Age did this take place, you ask? 2003. That’s right - this went down in a time when air conditioning, fans, and modern medicine were totally an established thing. Your technology doesn’t stand a chance in this fight. Nine times the number of people who have ever died from SARS died from this single heat wave. Just in France. Don’t worry too much though, Europeans. At least you’ll end up with some bitchin’ wine.

Steadily Moving Fault Line 

(Photo: Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014)

Earthquakes are a constant worry for West Coasters, but for those who like their natural disasters to be perpetually occurring (and who doesn’t?), there are certain fault lines that you’ll very much enjoy dying next to. You see, many significant faults experience “creep,” which means they are always moving - much to the chagrin of homeowners who moved in before that discovery, and now have to deal with their house splitting right in half under their feet. And you thought your landlord sucked.

Deadly Lakes  

(Photo: AFP/ Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014)

So now that walking and home ownership are off the table, it’s time to ensure that you will never have a good night’s rest again (at least not near a lake). The culprit? A limnic eruption. This occurs when a lake decides to emit an enormous amount of carbon dioxide from its depths at one time, for ostensibly no reason, which then settles under the breathable air and suffocates all the plants, animals, and humans around. Out in the open. Next time you're freaking out about whether or not you remembered to DVR that trivial show you hate but are sort of committed to, just remember there’s a chance that while you’re sleeping, the earth is going to barf up enough poison to kill you. See, didn’t all your problems just melt away (to be replaced by terror)? Wonderful!

Check out Transform Yourself Into a Half-Man, Half-Beast! and The Pessimist's Guide to 2014!