What is a shark?
A “shark” is one of any number of “fish” characterized by cartilaginous skeletons, gill slits, pectoral fins that are not fused to the head, and a voracious appetite for human flesh.
What is a tornado?
A “tornado” is a “weather” phenomenon characterized by a violent rotating column of air that comes into contact with the earth. Its effects on humans include, but are not limited to, violent death, hysteria, and people with Southern accents likening the sound of a tornado to a “freight train” on local news coverage the day after the event.
What is a sharknado?
A “sharknado” is a “tornado” that pulls “sharks” out of ocean water and distributes them over land. The combination of high winds, torrential rain, and sharks can lead to extensive property damage and loss of life and/or limbs.
How common are sharknados?
The first recorded sharknado struck Los Angeles, in 2013; the second struck New York City in 2014; the third set of sharknados struck Orlando and Washington, D.C., in 2015. Given the warming of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans brought on by global warming, scientists anticipate the frequency of sharknados to increase over time, perhaps as often as thirteen to twenty-six times per year.
However, some scientists have theorized that as the novelty factor of sharknados decrease with each instance, weather patterns may shift to other combinations of animals and natural disasters.
How do I protect myself in the event of a sharknado?
A combination of methods to protect against sharks and tornados should increase one’s chances of surviving a sharknado. They include:
- Seek high ground not prone to flooding
- If you are outdoors, go indoors, unless the building is flooded and contains a shark
- If you are indoors, take cover in a small interior room. Avoid windows, which sharks can break through
- If you confront a shark, hit it in the face and gills
- If you are in the water, get out of the water. Sharks cannot walk on land as of this writing.
Does my homeowner’s insurance cover sharknados?
Although most homeowner’s insurance policies do cover tornadoes, claims cases resulting from the past three years of sharknados have found in favor of insurance companies’ categorization of these events as Acts of God, and therefore not covered by insurance. A lawsuit stemming from the 2013 event, Wexler vs. Allstate, is currently being appealed.
You didn’t answer my question!
This is very much a work in progress. It will continue to be updated as events unfold, new research gets published, and fresh questions emerge.
So if you have additional questions or comments or quibbles or complaints, send a note to Mark Lee: [email protected].
Editor’s Note: Mark Lee has been eaten by a shark in a recent sharknado incident and is no longer available to update this article.