Disaster 2: Hypercane



Changes in the environment don’t always function like a cancer, killing you slowly over a long period of time. Sometimes the environment just loses its damn mind, and that’s when stuff like a hypercane can occur. If the normal consequences of a shifting climate are akin to a metaphorical disease infecting the world, a hypercane’s consequences are a metaphorical BruceWillis: That is to say, if global warming might kill humanity slowly over a period of generations, a hypercane is going to tie a fire hose around the world’s neck and then throw it off an exploding skyscraper.

A hypercane is a hurricane on a global scale. With winds up to supersonic speeds, a hypercane doesn’t just dismantle and destroy what it touches–it utterly disintegrates it. They can grow up to the size of an entire continent, the conditions that spawn them could also render them self- sustaining (i.e. permanent,) and their long- term effects are beyond disastrous. Though it’s a long shot that a hypercane will ever naturally occur again (many theorize that hypercanes have been present for, if not responsible for several major past extinctions,) if it ever does happen, it will be what scientists refer to as a “planet killer”–which, incidentally, is one of the reasons scientists don’t get invited to many parties. I’m not saying that these scientists are exaggerating the threat – it’s just that there are more sensitive ways to deliver such terrible news. Doctors dealing with terminal patients don’t break the traumatic revelation that a patient has cancer by telling them it’s “like the atom bomb of diseases”; they don’t tell AIDS patients that they have the disease equivalent of “a gun shooting you from the inside out”; and they don’t explain leukemia to terminal children by telling them that it’s “like the bogeyman lives inside your bones.” Show a little compassion, science; you scare the shit out of us already. No need to talk it up.

But hell, they’re right: While a compassionate soul would tell you that, in the event of a hypercane we’ll all go out peacefully in our sleep, dreaming of past loves and warm summer days, my mother taught me that honesty is the best policy. And in keeping with that philosophy, I should tell you it’s far more likely that not only would your skin be completely sheared off by the supersonic winds, but it would also likely afterward become a deadly storm- borne projectile that would continue on to impale your entire family.


Robert Brockway is the author of Everything is Going to Kill Everybody and an editor and columnist for Cracked.com and runs the successful humor site IFightRobots.com. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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