If you've seen the news lately or, like, gone outside for even a second, you may have noticed that the United States is currently suffering from one of the worst droughts in recent history, with half of the country now officially going through a major dry spell.
Suddenly, Texas wishes it wasn't a red state.
But, you know ... it's just a little water (or the lack thereof). It's not like the country is running out of something essential, like booze or something. What's the worst that could happen? Well, it turns out that besides the normal side effects like increasing earthquakes, raising mountains, and sinking the land, the drought is also bringing freakier consequences straight out of a Roland Emmerich CGI-fest, such as ...
#5. Towns Are Being Invaded by Mountains of Tumbleweed
For those who don't live in the hotter, desert-er regions of the world where nobody should be living anyway, tumbleweed is something you see in cartoons when they want to indicate that the town Scooby and the gang just rolled into is empty. But, much like birds or babies, tumbleweeds aren't that funny when you leave the house one morning and find an army of them staring at you -- which is what's happening right now in several U.S. states.
"Block's ours now. You ain't made of weed, keep walking."
No, those are not stills from a new M. Night Shyamalan/Marky Mark collaboration. The current drought (which slowly took shape beginning in 2010 for parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado) has given birth to mountains of orphan tumbleweed. Normally, herds of cattle would be used to get rid of the tumbling weed, but this isn't "normally" -- because of the drought, ranchers don't have enough water to keep enough animals alive, so the only way humanity can fight back against this formidable enemy is with trucks. As in, trucks to push the tumbleweeds elsewhere.
The truck went inside the mountain and came out the other side carrying skeletons.
You might be thinking, "Well, why don't they just burn them?" They do, sometimes, but then they run the risk of accidentally combining a mountain of burning tumbleweed with a dust devil and ending up with this abomination from Satan's laughing ass crack itself:
Luckily, the heat quickly dried the pee on their pants.
Holy shit, that's why all those old towns in the Scooby-Doo cartoons are empty: The tumbleweeds killed everyone.
#4. Entire Cities Are Being Swallowed by Dust
With a drought comes a severe lack of water, and with a severe lack of water comes an insane amount of dust. What do you get when you apply the same concept of your grandmother's hot, stuffy, dust-covered attic to the scale of an entire Texas county? A 1,000-foot wall of dust, 200 miles wide.
"It's like Godzilla on enchilada night."
The huge fucking dust cloud, or haboob, caused a commotion in Texas back in March ... in part because "haboob" is a Muslim word and people got angry at the weather guys for saying it on TV (see, they should have gone with "huge fucking dust cloud"), but also because, in some counties, the air was so thick with dust particles that you could barely cringe at the bumper stickers on the car ahead of you.
"Guys, I think we're in Oz. And everybody's dead."
And it's not just Texas: Last week, a giant dust storm in New Mexico killed six people. Even in Nevada, where these things are pretty rare, the dust made an entire city fade out like a McFly family photo. Here's a time lapse:
"Suck it, David Copperfield."
We've gotten to the point where some parts of Texas and other drought-ridden states are about 10 percent drier than the infamous Dust Bowl of the 1930s. So basically, get out your zombie survival kits and repackage them with gallons and gallons of water. Oh, and fluffy dusters.
#3. It's Literally Changing the Landscape
We totally understand if you think the current drought is just another case of overhyped media sensationalism -- those guys do love making everyone panic for bullshit reasons. However, if you want proof that this really is the worst drought in decades, check out this image of California and its Sierra Nevada mountains last year:
This being near Hollywood, there's some debate as to how much of that is actually snow.
And here's that same satellite image adjusted to the now:
Nevada and Oregon have tried to stage an intervention, but California keeps insisting it can stop whenever it wants to.
California looks like what happens to your shoe after you scrape all the flattened grass and petrified dog shit off the bottom. Unfortunately, in this case there are several million Californians who need that grass and poop to live. So how bad do things have to be for this to happen? Imagine the lowest rainfall year on record as a line on the wall, beneath all the other records of all the other years. Now halve that, and that's what California is going through right now.
Or imagine a big lake suddenly down to only 17 percent of its capacity in less than three years. Actually, you don't have to imagine that, because here it is:
Then you've got Mount Shasta, which should have been blanketed in snow in January, but had lost a ton since November:
Just as the documentary series Shasta McNasty predicted.
And all those wildfires you've been seeing on TV? You can also see them from space, giving the impression that California itself is so stressed from all this shit that it just said "Fuck it, give me a smoke":
Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Rapid Response Team
"Or two. I'm also smoking out of my butthole in this metaphor."