Mega Disasters

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Tuesday 9:00 PM on The History Channel Premiered May 23, 2006 In Season

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  • Prehistoric English Superflood

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 1 - 9/12/08

    Could the island nation of Great Britain have once been connected to Europe by land? Listen to a new theory and evidence which suggests that the English Channel was created by one of the largest floods evermoreless
  • Toxic Cloud

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 11 - 7/22/08

    Chemistry has changed our way of life, including potentially the explosive release of a dangerous chemical. Today, there are numerous facilities where the potential for release of a toxic cloud that could stretch for miles. In Texas City, an average of 22 vessels a day move 60 million tons of cargo through the port and about 97 % of which are petroleum and chemicals for the refineries. Can safer chemicals be introduced in time to prevent a disaster?moreless
  • Atlantis Apocalypse

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 10 - 7/15/08

    Volcanoes can erupt suddenly and without warning, unleashing the most destructive forces on earth. More than 3,500 years ago, the Greek island of Santorini experienced one of the worst volcanic disasters in human history, and perhaps the biggest loss from this mega disaster, the destruction of a civilization that could have changed the course of history. Will history repeat itself?moreless
  • Deadly Jet Collision

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 9 - 7/8/08

    Since commercial aviation began, the romance of air travel has been marred by the tragedy of crashes. Today the sky above is safer than ever before--but the ground below has become more perilous. That was tragically proven in March, 1977, on Tenerife, part of the Canary Island chain, where 583 people were killed when two Boeing 747s collided at Los Rodeos Airport. It was the world's--and history's--worst aviation disaster. Though decades have passed, root causes for the tragedy at Tenerife remain with us today.moreless
  • Airborne Attack

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 8 - 7/1/08

    Anthrax, the most feared of the biological weapons--spores entering the body through the lungs are lethal. In 2001, a letter sent through the US mail, paralyzed the nation when anthrax spores were found inside. Will anthrax be used to create a worldwide disaster?moreless
  • Glow Train Catastrophe

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 7 - 6/24/08

    The U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission plan to transport 77,000 tons of nuclear waste to a permanent storage facility 950 feet below Nevada's Yucca Mountain. If the plan goes through, much of the cargo will travel through Las Vegas, making an accident there a very disturbing possibility. If history has taught us anything, it's that transporting dangerous goods can sometimes have catastrophic results. Take a look at the potential disaster that such a rail accident would have in Las Vegas.moreless
  • Dam Breaks

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 6 - 6/17/08

    Modern dams are marvels of engineering but after decades of neglect the U.S. infrastructure is in crisis and by 2020, 85% of U.S. dams may be near their breaking point. When the South Fork Dam near Johnstown, PA gave way in a storm in 1889, killing 2200 people, it was the worst disaster in U.S. history. Today, with millions of Americans living nearby massive dams, the result of a failure could be catastrophic.moreless
  • Comet Storm

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 5 - 6/3/08

    13,000 years ago, a large comet exploded over eastern Canada unleashing a mass of burning fragments that ignited a mega storm of fire spreading for thousands of miles. Nearly every living thing on the North American continent was destroyed, including an ancient civilization known as the Clovis.moreless
  • Noah's Flood

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 4 - 5/27/08

    Could the biblical story of Noah be true? 8,000 years ago, rising sea levels had global oceans surging. With the power of all the world's oceans at its back, the Mediterranean Sea burst through the Bosporus Strait in modern-day Turkey with cataclysmic force. When the flood was over the sea had claimed a landmass twice the size of Ireland.moreless
  • Volcanic Disaster

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 3 - 5/22/08

    The largest volcanic eruption of the past two million years occurred on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, 75,000 years ago. The impact from the super volcano Toba decimated the local habitat, but gas, ash and debris from Toba made their way around the planet and formed a shield in the atmosphere that deflected the sun's warming rays. Temperatures plummeted and the planet was thrown into a volcanic winter and may have even pushed the planet into an ice age.moreless
  • Mega Tsunami

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 2 - 5/13/08

    In 6,000 B.C., 8,000 years before the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, waves taller than the Statue of Liberty ravaged the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, devastating ancient villages and killing untold numbers.
  • Hypercane

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 1 - 5/6/08

    65 million years ago an asteroid crashed into Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. 75% of all life vanished, but could a single asteroid have been the lone killer? Theories about what happened after the impact have been speculated on by the scientific community. Ranging from global warming to worldwide firestorms, ideas have been put forth, but none have been proven. Then in 1995 a new theory claimed that a powerful storm known as a Hypercane caused the extinction. The Hypercane allegedly reaches 20 miles into the Stratosphere and has wind speeds of up to 700 miles per hour.moreless
  • The Next Pompeii?

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 13 - 11/27/07

    In 79 AD Mt. Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and killed 5,000 people. The volcano is quiet at the moment, but the only consistency in Vesuvius' eruptive history is a lack of consistency. The danger zone that surrounds the volcano includes the city of Naples and its one million residents; another two million people reside nearby. Scientists know that when Vesuvius erupts again they won't have much warning and another major metropolis will be destroyed.moreless
  • L.A.'s Killer Quake

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 12 - 11/20/07

    It has been a century since the infamous 1906 San Francisco earthquake and Californians live with the knowledge that it's only a matter of time before they're hit again. Los Angeles is the second most populous city in America. If an earthquake hit directly beneath downtown LA, scientists believe that tens of thousands would be killed. Just how would the city respond to a 7.5 magnitude quake?moreless
  • Oil Apocalypse

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 11 - 11/14/07

    The oil that our world runs on won't last forever. The gap between supply and demand is ever increasing. Will alternative energy save us or is it already too late? What would happen to the world as we know it when our oil dependent industries come to a grinding halt? A worldwide depression is a certainty but a power struggle for the basic necessities of life would be complete chaos.moreless
  • Super Swarms

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 10 - 11/7/07

    The locust is one of the most destructive and dreaded life forms on Earth. American pioneers faced the largest swarm of locusts ever recorded. The 1,800 mile long and 110 mile wide cloud of insects ate their way through the heartland and blocked the sun for five days. Famine ensued, and thousands faced starvation. According to recent studies, the possibility of such a swarm returning to the United States is very likely. The destruction would be unimaginable.moreless
  • Mega Drought

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 9 - 10/30/07

    Recent warming trends in seawater and air temperature point to a possible mega drought in the next thirty to fifty years. Could we be facing a replay of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s on an even bigger scale?moreless
  • New York Earthquake

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 8 - 10/23/07

    Take a look at the effects an earthquake would have on New York and its infrastructure--and the havoc it could wreak on the city.
  • Alien Infection

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 7 - 10/16/07

    Could an alien infection cause an epidemic on earth? Some experts believe that spacecraft returning from Mars could bring back a harmful sample or comet dust falling into our atmosphere could cause pandemics.moreless
  • Methane Explosion

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 6 - 10/9/07

    Scientific theory states that gigantic eruptions of methane gas from deep in the ocean have occurred regularly throughout history. Although a global-scale methane eruption today is highly unlikely, there are stagnant, oxygen-poor basins in the ocean where methane might accumulate. Even a small explosion would cause a catastrophemoreless
  • Hawaii Apocalypse

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 5 - 10/2/07

    Hawaii, 1868. The volcano, Mauna Loa, in its most spectacular eruption, spewed out enough lava to cover 40 percent of the Big Island. A similar eruption occurred in 1950. Now that the island has become developed, the potential for damage and loss from a major eruption is astronomical.moreless
  • Glacier Meltdown

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 4 - 9/25/07

    Prolonged droughts could ravage the interior of the western U.S., leading to catastrophic water shortages. Could we be facing a replay of the Dust Bowl?
  • Gamma Ray Burst

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 3 - 9/18/07

    Scientists believe gamma ray bursts were responsible for a mass extinction 450 million years ago. The gamma rays strip away the ozone layer and generate chemical smog, producing a widespread chill that grips the Earth. An expected electromagnetic pulse will zap all of our electronics. How will our modern cities hold up in the face of a previous global catastrophe?moreless
  • Krakatoa's Revege

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 2 - 9/11/07

    In 1883, Krakatoa erupted. Gigantic explosions blew the volcano to pieces, and triggered massive lava flows that generated huge tsunamis. Nearly 37,000 died, the greatest death toll caused by a volcanic eruption. It could happen again.moreless
  • Comet Catastrophe

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 1 - 9/4/07

    A comet, crashing into the Pacific Ocean could cause millions of casualties followed by a lethal tsunami, earthquake, torrential rains and a nuclear winter. Is the next massive impact just around the corner?moreless
  • California's Katrina

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 13 - 9/20/06

    What would happen if the levees around Sacramento failed like the ones in New Orleans.
  • Mega Freeze

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 12 - 8/15/06

    Could North America and parts of Europe be headed for a "big chill?" New research has indicated to scientists that the climate is changing rapidly and unpredictably.
  • Firestorm

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 10 - 8/1/06

    On the morning of December 6, 1917, the French steamer Mont Blanc, loaded with 2,300 tons of picric acid and 200 tons of TNT, was making its way through the narrows of the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Suddenly, it collided with the Norwegian ship Imo. As oily flames shot into the sky and the crews scrambled into lifeboats, women and children came to their windows to watch, mesmerized by the flames. The empty Mont Blanc burned for 20 minutes, then -- without warning -- exploded. The blast is the biggest non-nuclear manmade explosion ever: 1600 homes destroyed, 6,000 people left homeless, 200 people blinded and over 2000 killed. Now we face the potential of an eerily similar disaster in Boston Harbor. Once each week, a gigantic tanker carrying LNG - liquefied natural gas - makes its way through the harbor, passing within 1200 feet of a densely populated waterfront. Experts fear that a collision or a terrorist attack could puncture one of the ship's tanks, releasing millions of gallons of LNG into the water. If a spark were to ignite that pool of gas, the result would be a massive fire and a devastating chain reaction of explosions that could destroy Boston's historic North End and the financial district, killing tens of thousands. Such an event in Boston Harbor could be one of the worst disasters ever on U.S. soil.moreless
  • New York City Hurricane

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 9 - 7/19/06

    What would happen if a hurricane struck New York City.
  • East Coast Tsunami

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 8 - 7/18/06

    What would happen to the East Coast if a massive landslide from a volcanic eruption in the Atlantic Ocean should occur.
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