January 23, 2012

Doomsday Facts: Solar Flares & Hyperinflation

  • In 1977, two lightning strikes caused a power failure, blacking out the entire city of New York for a day. It was called the “Night of Terror.”

  • The strongest possible solar flare is categorized as an X-level. The last X-level flare occurred in February 2011. Fortunately, the solar gale was not particularly harmful because it did not directly hit Earth. But such coronal mass ejections have potential to disrupt satellite communications and power grids on the ground.

  • Faraday cages can be used to protect electronic equipment from an electromagnetic pulse, which can be caused by an intentional atmospheric nuclear detonation or a solar flare.

  • Three in four households used coal or wood for heat in 1940; only 1.8 percent of homes used these fuels in 2000, which would prove troublesome in the event of power loss.

  • In Zimbabwe, the inflation rate reached 4 million percent in 2008, and the cost of milk soared to 24 billion dollars a gallon.

  • In June 2011, the cost of cheddar cheese at American grocery stores was $5.44 a pound—the highest price since 1984.

  • After World War II, prices for basic goods in Hungary rose more than 19,000 percent per month.

  • Utah is among 25 states permitting the use of deadly force as a response to home invasion.

  • Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes the latest mortgage crisis in the United States as a black swan event.

  • FEMA estimates that a major quake along the New Madrid fault line could displace over seven million people.

  • There are 15 nuclear power plants along the New Madrid fault line.

Nat Geo TV App

The Nat Geo TV App

Watch your favorite National Geographic Channel shows the day after they air.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play