Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Acts of God
No, I'm not talking about a beautiful flower blooming, or cancer going into remission (as an Atheist, I don't believe those things have anything to do with a greater power), but rather those random catastrophic occurrences that not even your insurance company can save you from. Most take the form of weather events -- freak storms, lightning strikes, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, etc. -- but some are even stranger, like death-by-satellite-debris or spontaneous combustion. And just like the germs and evil children I talked about a few days ago, there seem to be more and more Acts of God every day. Global Warming? End of Days? I sure as hell don't know, but here are a few of the weirder entries in the annals of stupendous calamity.
The Tunguska Event - An enormous explosion in early 20th-c. Russia. Meteor Impact? Spaceship Landing? Tesla Experiment?
The Great Thunderstorm of Widecombe-in-the-Moor - Ball lightning takes out a church in 17th-c Dartmoor.
Koro, or Penis Panic - The incredible shrinking genitalia.
The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic - Mass hysteria forces a school to shut down in Tanzania.
The Dyatlov Pass Accident - Nine skiers disappear in the Ural Mountains and their bodies turn up with high radiation levels and a strange brown tan.
The Moberly-Jourdain Incident - Otherwise sober and respected British academics experience a time slip at a small chateau in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles.
Raining Animals - Old Testament plagues made real, and not just toads and fish, but worms, spiders, and even jellyfish. Oh my.