Have you ever been walking outside when you realized that something felt ‘off’? Maybe a storm was blowing in. Perhaps there was a wild animal nearby. Maybe you caught a whiff of smoke before you realized that there was a fire. Whatever the situation may be, you realized that something was wrong before it manifested. Similarly, the world around us can warn of danger before it appears, but only if you know what the signs are. Keep on reading to learn potentially life-saving signs that disaster is about to strike!
Sharks in Deep Waters
Traditionally, you aren’t going to see many sharks while out in the ocean. However, if you find yourself swimming in deep water, keep an eye out for the smooth-skinned apex predators. Sharks coming into deeper water can signify serious changes over the surface of the ocean. In fact, sharks frequently head to deep water in order to escape the forces of hurricanes or other tropical storms.
Be Aware of J-Shaped Trees
Do you want a simple sign that a landslide is about to occur? If so, keep an eye out for J-Shaped trees on sloping hills. As you can see, these trees are hard to miss! The reason that these trees begin to change shape is due to the slowly changing nature of a landslide. As the trees grow, they are subtly manipulated by forces beneath the ground, thus leading to the famous J shape before us.
Stay Away From Smelly Water
You shouldn’t need to be told to avoid foul-smelling water, but we are going to just in case. If you are in or near a lake, ocean, or river, take stock of how it appears and smells. If the water is stagnant, scummy, or discolored, you are going to want to avoid any interaction with the water feature. Typically, those traits are afflicted upon water features that are experiencing serious bacterial growth.
Hair Standing on End
Have you ever put your hands on a static ball as a kid? When you did, you probably had all of your hair stand up on end. While this may look funny, it also can signify that lighting is about to strike in the immediate area. If you feel your hair standing on end, take immediate shelter! If nothing else, crouch as low to the ground as possible.
Dropping Ocean Levels
If you are walking along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, pay attention to the water level. If you see that the water level is receding, you might want to skip the selfie and take shelter instead. When water suddenly recedes, thus leaving reefs and living creatures uncovered, a tsunami could be on the way.
Red Sky Warning
For people into the nautical side of life, the term ‘red sky warning’ probably has some serious meaning. For everyone else, understand that a red sky at night is awesome. It means that you are likely going to have great weather in the morning. However, if the sky is red in the morning, a storm could be on the horizon.
Scary Wall Clouds
If you are in the Midwest or near Tornado Alley, you are going to want to get good at identifying clouds. Wall clouds, specifically, are something you want to watch out for. Wall clouds sit lower than the average thunderstorm, and they often mean that a tornado is coming. Unless you want to be taken to a yellow brick road somewhere, you should head to the basement.
Pets Paying Close Attention
Did you know that there was once a cat in a hospital that could ‘tell’ when someone was about to pass away? Scientists don’t quite understand how animals know that something is wrong, but there is plenty of evidence that they do! If your furry friend seems majorly concerned about a part of your body, maybe head to the doctor for a checkup. Signs to watch out for include excessive licking or sniffing of an afflicted body part.
Be Weary of Funnel Clouds
Don’t believe the hype that storm chasers are trying to sell to you. Funnel clouds are dangerous, full-stop. While we all love a little adrenaline, we don’t advise spending too much time near an existing funnel cloud. In fact, funnel clouds are so unpredictable that you can’t really tell which way they are going. Take shelter, not selfies. We would also suggest purchasing a weather radio if you live in an area where intense storms are possible.
Animals Running Toward You
When you are out in nature, animals should pretty much leave you alone. If you are walking through the park when animals start to run toward you, it might be time to take a hint. Animals rushing toward you can signify that there is a fire, or something else dangerous, pushing them in your direction. Take stock of their actions and start analyzing the situation.
Watch For Caves During Full or New Moons
While hanging out on the beach in a cave can be a ton of fun, it can also be dangerous. If you find yourself wandering into a cave on the coast at night, check the moon. If the moon is full or new, you need to be aware of the tide. If you don’t escape before the tide rises, you could end up in a fatal situation.
Animals Quickly Departing
Did you know that a wild animal can sense when disaster is about to strike? It’s true! Dating back to 373 BC in Greece, humans have reported fleeing animals prior to a natural disaster. Scientists have even backed up this bizarre phenomenon! If you see masses of animals fleeing where you are at, you would do well to follow them.
Toxic Mushrooms are Near Trees
We are of the mind that you shouldn’t be eating anything that you find in nature. Unless you are trained to live off of the wild, you are likely just putting yourself in danger. If you are in a survival situation, make sure to avoid any mushrooms found near a tree. The mushrooms located near the base of a tree are likely to be poisonous. Look up the deathcap mushroom for further reading. Trust us, you don’t want to eat one!
Cracked Snow Beneath Your Feet
We are big fans of getting outside when it is cold. Whether we are skiing or snowboarding, staying active can be a fun way to get through winter. With that being said, we’d definitely suggest that you avoid any and all snow that cracks and sinks beneath your boots, particularly if you are on a mountain. Why? Well, cracking snow beneath your feet may signify that an avalanche is on the way. If you get buried in an avalanche, simply spit in order to see which direction you are facing.
Green Sky Colors
As it turns out, the sky is one of the most useful indicators that disaster is about to strike. Green skies are always going to be a warning sign that you pay attention to, particularly if there is news of a storm on the horizon. Green skies tend to signify that a storm is on the way and tornadoes are right behind.
Square Segments of Waves in the Ocean
You’re not going to want to go for a swim when you learn about square waves. Take a glance at this picture, notice how the waves in the ocean seem to be segmented off into squares. These squares signify something called a cross-sea. A cross-sea can be deadly for ships, swimmers, and surfers alike. Trust us, you don’t want to get caught in these waves!
Stay Away From Colorful Animals
Mother Nature made it as easy as possible for us to identify dangerous animals, but we still ignore her. Anytime that you see a brightly colored bug, animal, or fish, you need to respect the creature. Colorful animals are almost always going to be fatally poisonous, so make sure you treat them with respect by avoiding them altogether.
Choppy Ocean Water
A bright and warm day at the beach can turn fatal when you are pulled into a rip current. For that reason, before ever entering into the water, you need to be aware of rip currents. Rip currents are most commonly identified by the choppy water that they send up to the beach. Rip currents pull you under and away from the shore. If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore. When you are out of the current, swim at an angle toward the shore.
Lakes Near Volcanoes
You almost always want to avoid water features that are near volcanoes. Consider this, a volcano can heat up a nearby water feature by pushing carbon dioxide into the lake. Volcanoes relieve pressure, thus staving off an eruption, by feeding the C02 from the ground into a nearby water feature. The lake, when disturbed by a storm or an earthquake, can cause an explosion of carbon dioxide that kills literally everything around it. This is a serious probably for animals and humans alike.
Fish on the Beach
By the time you get done reading these warning signs, you’ll never want to go to the beach again. With that being said, dead fish on the beach signify that there is something deadly in the water. No, we aren’t talking about Jaws. We are talking, instead, about deadly chemicals or biological components such as algae. The Karenia Brevis, special algae found in the Gulf o Mexico, can turn red thus leading to a deadly ‘red tide’.
Sound of Rushing Water
If it has been storming or you are near a beach or river, you might want to keep your ears open. The sound of rushing water can be enough to shoot ice into your veins, metaphorically speaking. Rushing water signifies that a deadly flash flood has manifested. Floods are considered the second deadliest form of severe weather in the entire country.
Beware Trees With Cracks or Missing Bark
If you see a tree that has a ton of missing bark or deep cracks in its base, the tree might fall over soon. If this tree is in your yard, you need to get on the phone with a tree removal service. Trees with missing bark or cracked foundations are a falling danger to you and any property around you.
Ring Around the Moon/Sun
Did you know that the moon and sun can tell you a lot about the weather? If you look up at the sun or moon and see a glowing halo, what is the significance? Typically, these rings signify that rain will be on the way within the next 48 hours. These rings are formed by cirrus clouds, ice crystals, and light refraction.
Frog Sounds Predict Weather
Did you know that frog sounds can help warn you that danger is on the way? The infamous croaking sound of a frog can signal that heavy rain is on the way. For frogs, this heavy rain means a night of romance is on the way. For us? Well, their croaks signify that we need to roll up the windows before we get drenched.
Glossy Pavement Can Be Treacherous
Ice is deadly. Invisible ice is even deadlier. If you live somewhere that temperatures drop below freezing, you need to learn how to identify ice on pavement. Glossy pavements tend to signify that a sheen of slick ice is present. Don’t let yourself become a falling victim, walk slow and avoid any shiny surfaces where ice might be.
Vanishing Golden-Winged Warblers
Did you know that the status of the golden-winged warblers in your area can signify a dangerous storm? Researchers tracked a group of golden-winged warblers in Tennessee back in April 2014. The birds took flight from their area immediately preceding a severe tornado. After the storm ended, the birds came back to Tennessee.
When Dust Walls Appear, Ditch the Road
Whether you are heading to Sedona in Arizona or Albuquerque to visit Walt’s old home, you’ll need to pay attention to the dust around you. Now, we aren’t talking about keeping your clothes clean, we are talking about keeping you safe on the road. Throughout the Southwest, dust clouds can form in open spaces before barreling down on helpless drivers. If you think a dust wall is coming, pull over and turn your hazard lights on. You don’t want to get hit by the dust OR another car that doesn’t see you, right?
Cloudy Well Water Signifies Possible Sinkhole
While sinkholes can look impressive from far away, the truth is that they are deadly and destructive forces of nature. Fortunately, you can keep an eye out for sinkholes when you live on a property that uses well water. Additionally, if you have a nearby pond or lake, you can also use other water features for information. Basically, keep an eye out for cloudy well water, cracks in the walls or floor of your home, and how easily your doors close. When a sinkhole begins to develop, it can throw off how your house sits, thus making it hard to close doors.
Stompy Skunks Mean Danger
We are pretty sure that you don’t need to be warned to stay away from skunks. With that being said, if you ever find yourself in front of these cute critters, you might want to consider slowly backing away. The moment that a skunk raises its tail and begins to stomp its feet, you draw ever closer to being bathed in some noxious fumes. Nobody likes to smell like a skunk, so keep your distance!
Flee All Bee Stings
Unless you are allergic to bee stings, they aren’t the end of the world, right? Well, the unfortunate truth is that a bee sting can turn quite deadly, even if you aren’t allergic! When you are stung by a honey bee, you are spiked with pheromones that urge all nearby hive members to attack. If you are stung even once by a honey bee, you are best off fleeing the area. Even if you aren’t allergic to bee stings, enough of them can send you into shock.
Watch For Sky ‘Holes’
When you see a hole open up in the sky, what is nature telling you? While you might be afraid of an alien invasion, you probably are looking at a Fallstreak hole. These sky holes form in clouds filled with water droplets that have been surrounded by sub-freezing temperatures. Directly beneath these holes, you are likely to see an ice shower begin to manifest. If you don’t enjoy being pelted by ice, you might want to avoid the area altogether. With all of that being said, this DOES look pretty cool, doesn’t it?
Colorful Water Can Be Deadly
When Mother Nature wants you to stay away, she tends to leave a sign. In nature, brightly colored animals can signify poison. Brightly colored water, such as this shot from Yellowstone National Park, signals scalding temperatures that can lead directly to death. The water in this picture is roughly 200-degrees which is twice as hot as a traditional Jacuzzi. Let’s just say that you won’t want to skinny dip in this pool of water.
Banded Clouds Mean Tornadoes
If you live in the Midwest, dark clouds almost always signify some type of storm. Most storms can be comfortably watched from your home, but if you start to notice ‘inflow bands’ then you might want to take shelter. Also known as a ‘cloud snake’, inflow bands indicate that a strong storm is on the horizon. These inflow bands suck in low-level air from a good distance, thus adding juice to the growing storm.
Five Toed Paw Prints Mean Predators
Let’s say that you are walking through the woods. You see bark that has been scratched away from a nearby tree. You also see five-toed paw prints in the mud and dirt. In these situations, you are likely wandering into bear country. Look for tufts of fur as well as bear droppings in order to confirm that you are indeed near where a bear was. Stay alert and ready to respond appropriately to the bear in question, depending on what type of bear you have come across. Remember, you aren’t going to outrun a bear.
White Ice is Always Dangerous
When we think of the dangers that ice can present, what comes to mind? You probably think about hitting icy patches on the road, thus leading to a crash. While that is a serious problem, many people end up walking onto their ice problems. If you see a lake covered in gray or white ice, you might want to avoid stepping on it. While many lakes have professionals who monitor ice thickness, plenty of them do not. White ice should be avoided at pretty much all costs unless you fancy going for a potentially deadly and unplanned ice bath.
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