Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters

November 14, 2014 — August 9, 2015



Photograph of an erupting volcano.
Generate a virtual volcano in Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters. 
© Pablo Hidalgo

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?

This exhibit uncovers the causes of these natural forces, explores the consequences, and considers the risks they pose.

Interactive stations will help visitors discover the processes behind each of these natural phenomena, with opportunities to manipulate a model earthquake fault, generate a virtual volcano, stand in the still eye of a roaring tornado, and assess the power of Hurricane Sandy via an interactive map of New York City. 

The exhibition will also examine how individuals and communities cope and adapt in the aftermath of these events—and how scientists are helping to reduce the risks, plan responses, and prepare for future events.

Meet the Curator

Exhibition overseen by Curator Edmond Mathez in the Museum’s Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences, whose research interests include mantle petrology, the petrological evolution of layered mafic intrusions, and the evolution of early Earth.

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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