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Killer Tsunami! Facts

CGI: A polar bear reaching through the fence and grabbing a woman's leg.  The woman hopped over two safety barriers to get a closer look at the animal.

CGI: With handlers minutes away, bystanders rip off tree branches and try to save the helpless woman. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channels

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  • Binky, the polar bear shown, kept the tourist’s tennis shoe for three days before zoo officials could retrieve it.

  • A 2011 study found that polar bears actually originated from Ireland, and they all share a common momma bear ancestor who lived during the Ice Age.

  • A U.S. Geological Survey study found that declining amounts of sea ice, likely explain a dramatic drop in the number of polar bears who made dens on sea ice instead of land.

  • The Alaska Zoo, where this incident took place, was founded because a man won an elephant in a contest for selling toilet paper.

  • During Halloween in Barrow, Alaska, armed guards patrol the town on ATVs to prevent polar bears from attacking children as they trick-or-treat.

  • The amount of water in snow varies depending on the density of the snow: According to the National Weather Service, in the Quad Cities region, an average inch of fresh snow contains about .08 inches of water if melted down, while 10 inches of snow still on the ground by spring could yield 5 inches of water.

  • The state with the highest incidence of NARSID is California.

  • While deep, loose snow makes for good powder skiing, it also increases the risk of a tree well accident.

  • Experts recommend carefully tunneling in from the side to rescue a person trapped in a tree well.

  • Scientists have found evidence that a meteor struck Earth 3.5 billion years ago; they say this could have caused a gigantic tsunami that swept over the entire earth multiple times.

  • A tsunami event is actually not composed of a single wave, but a series of waves called a wave train.

  • The first recorded tsunami occurred over 4,000 years ago, off the coast of Syria.

  • Some anthropologists believe that stories of previous tsunamis handed down through generations were responsible for saving ancient tribes on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the 2004 tsunami.