Tsunami Fun Facts

Tsunamis are voilent phenomenon. However, not all facts regarding tsunamis are sad stories. Some are fun and lifts the human spirit. Although it causes devastation, in the end, one positive effect of tsunami when it hits a place is it leads to better and safer building structures in and around the area as it is rebuilt. Urban planners are forced to rethink designs that helps the area to be resistant to tsunamis like coastal buffer with trees and other structures.

Here are some fun facts about tsunamis:

  • The word tsunami comes from Japanese work tsu and nami, which translate to harbor and wave respectively. Coincidentally, Japan has been hit by tsunami several times in recorded history and has the most advanced tsunami warning system in the world.
  • Scuba divers near the abundant coral reefs in Thailand and the Maldives described the experience like being in a 'washing machine' when they were caught off guard by violent, swirling underwater currents during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
  • Tsunami is not just one big wave but a series of waves called "wave train".
  • Oral folklore about "huge shaking of ground followed by high wall of water" saved the aboriginal population of the Andaman Islands during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. They were able to evacuate ahead to higher grounds and suffered fewer casualties.
  • Sometimes tsunami can cause sea waters to recede, called "drawback", exposing seabea and corals that otherwise are not visible from the surface water.
  • Island folklore which recounted an earthquake and tsunami in 1907 saved many inhabitants of the island of Simeulue in Indonesian, despite it being close the the earthquake epicenter. The islanders fled to inland hills after the initial shaking and before the Indian Ocean Tsunami struck.
  • Tilly Smith, a 10-year-old British tourist in northern Phuket, Thailand, recognised the warning signs of the receding ocean and frothing bubbles from her school lesson in geography. She and her parents warned others on the beach and was able to save lives during the Indian Ocean Tsunami.
  • Some animals, like elephants, dogs and birds can detect an impending tsunami. This animals have been recorded to display erratic behavior before a tsunami hits.
  • The lost City of Mahabalipuram was uncovered when Indian Ocean Tsunami hits India. The tsunami scrubbed away six feet of sand from a section of beach and uncovered small cluster of buried boulders carved with animals, gods and servant girls.
  • The plural form of the tsunami can be either "tsunami" or "tsunamis".
  • The best way to escape tsunami is on foot and climbing up any steep slopes or nearby strong building as quickly as possible.
  • Palm trees are will adapted to life in the shoreline and often survive tsunamis intact. Thanks to their long, and slender trunks.