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Friendly Reminder That Earth Is Scary AF

Nature is, and always will be, stronger than you are.

Posted on February 1, 2016, at 6:33 p.m. ET

1. Gravity is always making shit fall.

DonQuijoteTV / Via

Rock slides like this one in Switzerland are rarely witnessed, but they happen all the time. This specific fall is estimated to be about 2200 cubic meters of stone (aka 12 million pounds!)

2. And gravity will roll enormous boulders through your house.

ODN / Via

An entire house didn't stop this rolling boulder from hell.

3. Volcanic holes of molten rock are a real, non-CGI thing:

National Geographic / Via

Even the hovering drone that filmed this didn't survive to tell the tale.

4. Sometimes, that molten rock can literally flow into the backyard of your Hawaiian vacay rental.

USGS / Getty Images

The lava here is probably about 750ºC.

5. Earth's volcanoes also shoot toxic, lightning-fueling ash into the sky.

Martin Bernetti / AFP / Getty Images

Scientists aren't 100% sure how volcanic lighting happens, but they generally agree that it occurs because the particles ejected from the volcano gain a strong charge.

6. I mean...look at that...

Loopdeloops / Via

7. Many of these eruptions are so big they can be seen from space.


Here's a view of Japan's Sarychev Volcano erupting on June 12, 2009, as seen by the astronauts on the International Space Station.

8. Speaking of space... Look at this picture of a GARGANTUAN hurricane astronaut Scott Kelly snapped from space:

Scott Kelly / NASA / Getty Images

This storm is not only visible from the International Space Station, but it's damn near impossible to miss. This Hurricane, named Patricia, holds the record for most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the Pacific. At one point it had sustained winds of 185 miles per hour.

9. Earth's ground isn't even that solid. It can shake so hard that it makes skyscrapers sway.

Balaji A / Via

These Japanese buildings are shaking because of the devastating 9.0 earthquake of 2011. The shaking is actually intentional. The ability for skyscrapers to sway (and not crumble apart) is an engineering marvel that can save lives in the event of major quakes.

10. That shaking ground can also create one of the most terrifying natural phenomena of all — tsunamis.

Yasir Ali / Via

Large tsunamis like this one following the 2011 Japan earthquake are caused when ocean floor is suddenly moved, displacing a nearly unthinkable amount of ocean water that propagates around the world.

11. They are terrifying to see from a helicopter, but it's even worse to see from a car's dashcam:

BootCampEnt / Via

12. It's not just water that can flow with great power. Check out this forest-destroying mudslide:

Global National / Via

Mudflows like this one are often caused by a combination of when brush (and their stabilizing roots) are lost and heavy rains loosen the ground.

13. And you know what else destroys shit? Avalanches.

GraffitiTimez / Via

Governmental organizations as well as many private ski resorts use explosions to set off avalanches when they know nobody will be trapped by them.

14. Earth also throws some regular lightning our way, too.

William Nguyen-Phuoc / Via

On average, there are about 30 lightning strikes a second worldwide. Those strikes are hotter than the surface of the sun.

15. Also, sometimes asteroids just fall out of the sky.

RussianDashCams2013 / Via

This is a dashcam view of an asteroid entering the atmosphere above Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. This one, described as "tiny" by NASA, released the equivalent amount of energy of 440 kilotons of TNT exploding all at once.

But hey. Earth also supports all of us in a way that no other known planet could!

And it gives us baller scenes like this, too:

RayMorris1 / Via Flickr: vidyo

So there's that...

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.