Studylist of the Week: The Power of Water

Most often, we humans use water in ways that are beneficial to us.  We take hot showers, visit calm freshwater lakes, build water parks, and surf on the ocean’s waves.

Because water is usually our friend, sometimes we forget the incredible destructive force that it can be.  The Power of Water studylist showcases some of the more spectacular ways that water has shown its strength and wreaked havoc on human lives.


Tsunamis, also called tidal waves, are like huge walls of water that can be over 100 feet high.

They are usually caused by underwater earthquakes, which trigger a series of huge ocean waves that send surges (sudden forceful flows) of water onto land.



Floods and mudslides damaged the country’s infrastructure and left thousands of people homeless in Venezuela in late 2010.

The disasters were caused by torrential (flowing or falling fast and in great quantities) rain that the land couldn’t absorb.



Water cascaded (rushed down in big quantities) from the Morganza floodway in Louisiana after its gate was opened in an effort to lower the Mississippi River.

Allowing the water to flood the area takes pressure off the levees protecting New Orleans and Baton Rouge.



When an 8.9 magnitude earthquake shook the ocean off the coast of Japan, it set off a series of tsunami waves.

The huge waves inundated (filled or covered completely) cities and towns along 1,300 miles of coastline, causing huge amounts of damage.



Have you ever seen the awesome — and sometimes terrible — power of water in action?  Have you experienced a torrential rain or a surge of water in a hurricane?

Studylist of the Week: Weather Words

Sometimes, with all of our cars and buildings and roads and hospitals and zoos and nice safe houses, we forget who’s really in charge around here.


Mother Earth.

But with raging storms, earthquakes, floods, and other huge acts of nature, She has her ways of reminding us.

The Vocablets in the Weather Words studylist showcase some of Mother Nature’s awesome might while also making vocab words memorable!


The Amazon, located in South America, is the largest rainforest in the world and one of the wettest places on Earth.

However, the shortage of rainfall that the region has experienced since the start of the 21st century has scientists worried about its future.


St. Elmo’s fire is not just an iconic 80′s movie — it’s also a weather phenomenon that creates a bright blue or violet glow under the right conditions.

In atmospheric electric fields (like during a thunderstorm), air molecules separate into ions, creating luminous plasma.



The one who shaped the mountaintop trees of South Africa with artistry and precision into their gracefully curved forms is a notoriously slow creator.

Wind has the reputation of a great destroyer, but given enough time, it can also be a sculptor of great beauty.



Venezuela had an exceptionally wet rainy season in 2010, which scientists attributed to a climactic phenomenon called La Nina.

The huge quantities of fast falling rain caused floods that swept through towns and destroyed thousands of homes, killing dozens of people.


The efforts of human beings to control or even simply to understand our world can seem paltry and small when faced with the truly formidable power of Earth.  So much that we are able to create can be taken out in an instant by an angry planet.

It is a humbling thought.

Do you have any stories of amazing weather phenomena to share?  Has any huge natural event happened where you live?  Tell us about it in the comments!