Extreme weather has fascinated and frightened humankind for millennia. But while most of us cower in fear when confronted by extreme flooding, hailstones, or a hurricane, some brave souls can’t resist reaching for the camera.
Thanks to these fearless photographers, we’ve been able to compile our pick of our favourite examples of extreme weather on the web.
Not so hail-arious balls-up
Nothing quite prepares you for two golf-ball sized lumps of ice slamming into your car at high speed … except perhaps for a weather warning. Unfortunately for this car owner, there was little he could do to protect his precious windscreen from these babies. Ironically, this particular vehicle was parked in the Omaha Weather Office car park, where the owner worked. Nothing left to do then except marvel at God’s handiwork and the dent left by his massive pair of stones.
Toad-illy soaked in frog storm
Many may doubt the factual accuracy of the bible but – rather bizarrely – the plague of raining frogs from the story of Moses does not fall into this category. According to ‘science’, a tornado-style phenomenon known as a waterspout has been known to pluck up the lightweight amphibians over water before losing energy as it moves over land, where the baffled, unfortunate little fellas plunge to a slimey, squishy death. If you can begin to imagine what this must be like for anybody caught in a frogstorm, you’ll understand why we chose a child-friendly picture of Kermit the Frog rather than something more realistic.
Eerie icehouse is actually a lighthouse
This is not a Hollywood film set, but is (or was) a fully functioning lighthouse. Unfortunately for any ships trying to navigate the ice-plagued Lake Eerie in Ohio, this rather extreme bout of cold put the building out of action. Of course, we have to feel sorry for the guy manning the lighthouse. And perhaps any birds who were nesting in the roof at the time.
Wok a lot of water
Okay, so the sceptic in me says this image must have endured some adept Photoshop tinkering. Frankly though, I don’t care. The idea that someone would be so absorbed in their food that they’d neglect to notice they’re chest deep in flood water is just too hilarious and definitely worthy of being shared. Who knows though, maybe she had somewhere really, really important to get to. Or maybe she just took advantage of an opportunity to have a dip while she lunched – killing two birds with one stone.
She’d wind a gurning competition
Walking against a strong wind can be a pain if you need to get somewhere in a hurry, but for those with time on their hands, it can be great entertainment. This woman may have fallen into the latter category – and for that should receive credit for pulling off a truly hilarious photo. That said, part of me fears this is a desperate attempt at some new anti-wrinkle treatment. If that’s the case, top marks for creativity, but I fear it’ll never take off. Personally, I’d worry that standing such strong wind would have a permanent effect.
Flooded roads: What a pain in the bass!
People rarely give much thought to freshwater fish during a flood, but as this image demonstrates it can cause all kinds of confusion. One wrong turn down a familiar stream for this little snapper saw him emerge onto a nearby road. Fortunately for him, the water was deep enough for him to continue on his way, flip flapping over to more familiar marsh environments on the opposite side. The question is, what does the guy in the red safety jacket have in mind? Is he some Good Samaritan, slowing traffic to ensure the fish’s safe passage? Or is he an opportunist fisherman, nonchalantly pursuing the easiest catch of his life?