We Might Be Able To Stop Storms With Bombs According To Sharknado, Actual Science
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Monday, on Cracked Movie Club, we'll discuss Sharknado which you can stream on Prime. The episode releases Monday at 3PM EST.
Sharknado constantly forces audiences to accept implausible scenarios like sharks getting sucked up by tornadoes and Tara Reid acting. But of all the wildness, it turns out the movie’s wildest idea isn’t so unbelievable. Okay, second wildest idea—behind the sharks getting sucked up by tornadoes thing.
At the end of the movie, our band of scantily clad misfits successfully stops the ‘nados from a turnin’ by huckin' a couple of homemade bombs into them. The idea is tornadoes need heat and moisture to spin, so a big explosion might equalize the hot air with cold air causing the thing to dissipate.
Now, you might imagine this seemingly unscientific nonsense originated in the early 2010s from a sad screenwriter just trying to end the damn movie. But as it turns out, “Hey what if we, like, exploded the weather?” is a phrase that has been verbatim uttered many times throughout history and often from relatively respected and knowledgeable sources. For example, the head of the U.S. Weather Bureau suggested it in 1961. Additionally, a few papers published in 1959 as part of the U.S. government’s Plowshare Program dedicated to finding peaceful uses for weapons proposed—instead of killing millions of people—we kill millions of raindrops. I know this doesn’t necessarily help my case, but even President Trump suggested it as recently as 2019.
Here’s the thing, while most experts would say, “Yeah, please don’t nuke tornadoes and hurricanes because nukes are radioactive and might actually make the sharks stronger," notably almost nobody flat-out claims it objectively wouldn’t or couldn’t stop a hurricane or tornado. Most papers from the world's top scientific minds refuting Sharknado don’t even mention powerful traditional bombs—they’re always focused on dangerous nuclear weapons. It's a bit of a red herring to clarify nukes cause a lot of damage and it’s not worth ending all life on the planet just to stop a hurricane, because that's not the scenario presented in Sharknado. What would happen with non-radioactive and better-controlled explosions? Nobody can definitively say.
Clearly the situation isn’t cut and dry enough to entirely dismiss without a thorough test. It’s just nobody is brave enough to actually bomb a storm, because good times create weak men, and weak men don't bomb rainclouds. But you know Teddy Roosevelt would have done it if he could figure out how to make a horse fly and also explode.
Oh shit. I think I just created the next great SyFy original movie franchise.
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