A bit of dry humor

Published 8:00 am Friday, August 26, 2022

I can’t help but remember when weather-related events made the national news, oh, maybe once a month: a tornado ripping through one community, a hurricane making landfall somewhere else, and wildfires out west. It’s pretty obvious to us all that now it seems weather makes the news nearly every day. And that news is generally catastrophic.


Currently, Europe is experiencing its worst drought in 500 years. England’s ‘green and pleasant land’ from the air looks brown and parched. Even Holland, a land that was reclaimed from the sea, is so short of water that the government is actively moving forward to collect rainwater for irrigation. It’s not supposed to be 90 degrees there. For weeks. Glaciers have melted to half their size in the last 85 years. 

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Amid all this depressing news, however, comes fascinating discoveries. Some grim, some quite breathtaking. 


The Danube, as it snakes through Serbia, is now so low that an entire fleet of sunken Nazi warships—still laden with explosives—has resurfaced. Not a particularly pleasant find, but pretty eye-popping, to say the least.


Skip over the Mediterranean, heading west, and the Spanish version of Stone Henge– a stone circle that dates back to 5,000 BC, named Dolmen of Guadelperal– has reappeared. Who knew? I guess Franco did as it was first submerged in 1963 by his decision to flood the area for rural development. 


Iraq has been draining its Mosul reservoir in order to irrigate dying crops. What the reservoir, in return, revealed, was an entire bronze age city dating back 3,400 years. Iraq, and its neighbors, are highly vulnerable to climate change and when the photos of the shrinking reservoir were shown, it is little wonder that scientists and think tanks opine that the coming wars will not be fought over oil, but water. 


Meanwhile, in China, they got a whole, new island! With the 70-day heatwave amongst an even longer drought, the water levels of Yangtze (which always makes me think of Yahtzee) dropped so low that an island, adorned with three, ancient statues, emerged.


Heading back to Europe, the Po River in Italy gave up an unexploded (now detonated) WW2 bomb, and elsewhere in the country, another dried-up river presented the stonewalls of a medieval town.          


South of London, in England, sits Crystal Palace, as well as its now evaporated lake bed. But newly exposed on that lake bed are sculpted dinosaurs for all the world to see. They’re really quite beautiful to behold. 


And in America? We’ve got dinosaurs too! Well, dinosaur tracks. After weeks of triple-digit heat and drought, I’m not sure if residents could care less, but as the Paluxey River disappeared, huge dinosaur tracks (it’s estimated these critters were up to 60’ in height! Imagine seeing one of those coming at you in your deer stand…) that have been hidden for 113 million years are now exposed.


And, being America, our other find has been, well, bodies. Lake Mead is now only 27% of its capacity, and being so near Las Vegas, I guess it’s no surprise 3 bodies (so far) have surfaced, one with a bullet hole in his head. 


I guess not everything that happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…