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Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters

Earthquakes. Volcanoes. Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Awesome in their destructive power, these natural events remind us that we are small and vulnerable—and that living on this dynamic planet will always entail risk.

How serious is that risk? Science enables us to assess whether events are rare or likely. But human emotion is a part of any planning strategy. Just ask yourself: Do I act based on what I know, or how I feel?

Exhibition Highlights

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About the Exhibition

Find out how nature’s forces shape our dynamic planet—and how scientists are helping to make better predictions and prepare for future events. 

Indian Ocean Tsunami


Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Earth’s rigid outer skin is made up of tectonic plates in constant motion, grinding against each other along faults and building up stress.

Lava Flow



Some volcanoes explode with the force of an atomic bomb. Others spill rivers of gently flowing lava.

Tornado 1999



There’s a reason The Wizard of Oz was set in Kansas: it’s in the middle of “Tornado Alley,” where most of the world’s tornadoes take place.




Hurricanes have many ways of doing us harm, including high winds, storm surge, and flooding.

Nature’s Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters was originally created by The Field Museum, Chicago, with additional content developed by the American Museum of Natural History (

Nature’s Fury is proudly sponsored by

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Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters

American Museum of Natural History

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New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

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