When Mother Nature has something to say, there’s no ignoring her. She takes into no account your holiday plans or flight schedules. And she is blind to race, age and economic status.
Yet, for all of her wrath and downpours of drama, Mother Nature always returns to us with smile — be it through warm sunshine to melt away the thickest ice, or a drop of rain to quench the thirstiest soil. Its her apology for showing her dark side and a thanks for bearing the brunt.
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Although her forces are still unmatched be even the most intelligent of man, we’ve at least been able to document her mood swings. And, perhaps, we even learn a thing or two about how to better understand her next time. We pored over thousands of extreme weather images to find out what Mother Nature had to say.
IMAGE: SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
Extreme Drought in New Zealand
Cows search for edible grass in drought strickened paddocks of Waiuku, New Zealand on March 12, 2013.
IMAGE: SANDRA MU/GETTY IMAGES
IMAGE: SANDRA MU/GETTY IMAGES
Aurora Over Alaska
The digitally enhanced photograph taken in January 2005 shows a spectacular aurora borealis above the frozen landscape of Bear Lake, Alaska. The image was voted Wikipedia Commons Picture of the Year for 2006.
IMAGE: JOSHUA STRANG, USAF, WIKIPEDIA, CAPTION VIA NASA
Mud Volcano Demonstration in Indonesia
Displaced residents immerse themselves in massive mud deposits from the mud volcano in Sidoarjo village, located on Indonesia’s eastern Java island on May 29, 2013 to dramatize their sufferings during a protest marking the seventh year of the disaster.
IMAGE: UNI KRISWANTO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Typhoon Waves in Qingdao, China
A child watches as high waves caused by typhoon Bolaven crash over the side of a road barrier on Aug. 28, 2012 in Qingdao, China.
IMAGE: CHINAFOTOPRESS VIA GETTY IMAGES
Roller Coaster Adrift in the Atlantic
A roller coaster sits in the Atlantic Ocean after the Fun Town pier it sat on was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy on Nov. 1, 2012 in Seaside Heights, N.J. The roller coaster was removed by crane in May.
IMAGE: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES
Sandy Powers Down NYC
Half of the New York City skyline sits in darkness after Hurricane Sandy, on Oct. 30, 2012. Photo taken in Weehawkin, N.J.
IMAGE: ANDREW BURTON/GETTY IMAGES
Undersea Volcano in Tonga
Picture dated March 18, 2009 shows an undersea volcano eruption about 6 to 7 miles off the Tongatapu coast of Tonga, sending plumes of steam and smoke hundreds of feet into the air. Tonga’s head geologist, Kelepi Mafi, said there was no apparent danger to residents of Nuku’alofa and others living on the main island of Tongatapu. Image via Images
IMAGE: LOTHAR SLABON/AFP/GETTY
Washington D.C.’s Historic Blizzard
Three people assemble a snowman at the foot of The Washington Monument in Washington D.C., during a winter snowstorm that buried the city under record-breaking snowfall on Feb. 6, 2010. Image via CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images
IMAGE: CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Surfer and Tornado in Sydney
A water spout (tornado) hits the sea behind a surfer on Sydney’s Bondi Beach on May 17, 2010. A rare sight in Australia, the water spout lasted around five minutes and expired before landfall.
IMAGE: JAMES ALCOCK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Melting Ice in Greenland
Ice boulders left behind after a flood caused by the overflowing of a lake, east of the town of Kangerlussuaq on Sept. 1, 2007 in Greenland. Scientists believe that Greenland, with its melting ice caps and disappearing glaciers, is an accurate thermometer of global warming.
IMAGE: URIEL SINAI/GETTY IMAGES
Tsunami Waves in Thailand
This photo, taken Dec. 26, 2004, shows people fleeing as a tsunami wave comes crashing ashore at Koh Raya, part of Thailand’s territory in the Andaman islands. The photographer who took this picture escaped without injury, but retreated at the first wave and watched as a second wave tore apart the wooden buildings, with a third and largest wave coming forward and “ripping apart the cement buildings like they were made of balsa wood.”
IMAGE: JOHN RUSSEL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Puyehue Volcano Erupts in Chile
A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile on June 5, 2011. Puyehue volcano erupted for the first time in a half-century on June 4, 2011, producing a column of gas 6 miles high. Image via CLAUDIO SANTANA/AFP/Getty Images
IMAGE: CLAUDIA SANTANA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Red Crabs in San Diego
Children look at the thousands of pelagic red crabs that washed ashore in San Diego on May 7, 2002. The phenomenon was a signal of a brewing El Nino event. The crabs, also known as tuna crabs, normally live off Baja California, Mexico, but they rode ocean currents as warm waters from the tropical Pacific migrated farther north than usual in a growing El Nino event.
IMAGE: DAVID MCNEW/GETTY IMAGES
Tsunami Flood Waters in Japan
This picture, taken by Sendai city official Hiroshi Kawahara on March 11, 2011 and released through Jiji Press on March 25, 2011, shows muddy tsunami water swallowing vehicles and houses at a bridge in Sendai city in Miyagi prefecture. Image via HIROSHI KAWAHARA/AFP/Getty Images
IMAGE: HIROSHI KAWAHARA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Tavurvur Volcano in Papua New Guinea
Evacuated Matapit Islanders watch Tavurvur volcano erupt, sending ash and rocks over the already devastated city of Rabaul on New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea on Oct. 7, 2006. Image via BRUCE ALEXANDER/AFP/Getty Images
IMAGE: BRUCE ALEXANDER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Japanese Monkeys After Snow
Japanese macaque monkeys relax in the hot springs at Jigokudani-Onsen (Hell Valley) on Dec. 27, 2005 after record snowfall hit Jigokudani, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
IMAGE: KOICHI KAMOSHIDA/GETTY IMAGES
Rainbow Over San Francisco
Rainbow stretches across AT&T Park during the first inning between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sept. 5, 2012 in San Francisco.
IMAGE: JASON O. WATSON/GETTY IMAGES
Rare Cloudless Alaska
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this rare, nearly cloud-free view of Alaska on June 17, 2013. Under normal conditions, this area of the state is known for being the cloudiest region of the United States.