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It’s one thing to contemplate the immense power of nature, quite another to experience it first-hand. Forces of Nature, returning to the Omni Theater on January 6, 2014, takes you as close as you’d ever want to be to some of the earth’s most violent natural disasters.

Forces of Nature showcases the awesome spectacle of earthquakes, volcanoes, and severe storms and follows scientists on a ground-breaking quest to understand what triggers these natural disasters. You travel to the very brink of erupting volcanoes, into the paths of deadly pyroclastic flows, along massive fault lines, and aboard vehicles barreling toward tornadoes. Along the way, you learn what can be done to predict and prepare for these events and minimize their deadly effects.

The film captures some of the earth’s most dramatic and terrifying natural events: the volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of Montserrat; a devastating earthquake that leveled the city of Izmit in northern Turkey; and tornadoes ripping across the North American Great Plains. Dramatic imagery also takes you deep within the interior of the earth and to the heights of our planet’s atmosphere to examine the genesis of these forces of nature. 

The island of Montserrat is actually the tip of a great undersea volcano. In 1995, after 100 years of dormancy, the volcano roared back to life. You are there as the violent eruption sends smoke and debris miles into the sky and searing avalanches of ash and dust tear down the mountain’s slopes. While the majority of Montserrat's inhabitants have fled the island, the intrepid men and women at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory have remained to study the volcano as it continues to erupt.

Halfway around the world, you witness the deadliest of all natural disasters: earthquakes. On August 17, 1999, residents of Izmit, Turkey, awoke in horror to experience an earthquake so strong it rocked the city to its core. The convulsion registered an incredible 7.4 on the Richter Scale and lasted 48 seconds - an eternity to those who experienced it. With the aid of a shake-table simulation, you experience the violent earthquake through pictures and sound: the floor buckles, the walls begin caving in, and dust explodes everywhere.

From Turkey you travel to the American Great Plains, the most tornadically active region on the planet. A giant Force Three tornado forms before your eyes, generating winds of 250 miles an hour that tear across the plains and destroy the town of Moore, Okla. In the midst of this extraordinary, destructive power are a meteorologist and his team of storm trackers in scientific pursuit of this elusive yet deadly tornado.

Forces of Nature was produced by Graphic Films and National Geographic and was funded in part by the National Science Foundation. It is sponsored by Amica. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for children (2-12) and seniors (65+). Museum members receive a $3 discount.

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 Forces of nature

FORCES OF NATURE takes you as close as you’d ever want to be to some of the earth’s most violent natural disasters.

Fun Fact
The Museum School was one of the first museum preschools accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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