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How tsunamis work - Alex Gendler

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The immense swell of a tsunami can grow up to 100 feet, hitting speeds over 500 mph -- a treacherous combination for anyone or anything in its path. Alex Gendler details the causes of these towering terrors and explains how scientists are seeking to reduce their destruction in the future.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Artist Jeremy Jusay, Chet Knebel
  • Animator Katie Wendt
  • Compositor Kristofer Wollinger
  • Script Editor Gerta Xhelo
  • Narrator Michelle Snow

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
If you live near the coast, it couldn't hurt to know what to do in case of a tsunami. Do not wait for an official warning. Instead, let the strong shaking in the earth be your warning. After protecting yourself from falling objects, quickly move away from the water and to higher ground.

Tsunamis are one of the most catastrophic natural disasters possible. Here's a list of ten of the most destructive tsunamis ever.

In this article, we'll look at what causes tsunamis, the physics that drives them and the effects of a tsunami strike. We'll also examine scientists' worldwide efforts to monitor and predict tsunamis in order to avoid major disasters.

On December 26, 2004, a series of devastating waves attacked coastlines all around the Indian Ocean, taking the largest toll of any tsunami ever recorded. The surges decimated entire cities and villages, killing more than 225,000 people within a matter of hours and leaving at least a million homeless.

Here's an animation of a tsunami detection system.

Recent and Historical Tsunami Events and Relevant Data.

As pointed out by Gunnar Heinsohn, the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus (325/330-after 391 A.D.) describes in precise and vivid terms a tsunami which has been dated to have occurred on July 21, 365 A.D.
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The story of tsunamis sounds like Moses leading the children of Israel through the desert, and lifting his staff so they could cross, before the egyptians were then drowned in a huge tidal wave. Does it not? What could this mean about Biblical interpretation? Are these stories catalogs of past catastrophes that happened to many different peoples? Would knowing the story help us survive if we were in that situation?
05/11/2014 • 
 10 Responses
 / 10 Updates
Tsunamis have become more deadly and destructive in recent decades, not because they are larger but because coastal areas have increased their population density and infrastructure.
04/24/2014 • 
 27 Responses
 / 27 Updates

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Artist Jeremy Jusay, Chet Knebel
  • Animator Katie Wendt
  • Compositor Kristofer Wollinger
  • Script Editor Gerta Xhelo
  • Narrator Michelle Snow

Share

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