This episode Joe, Kevin, and Toren look at the giant waves known as tsunami. You’ll hear about the biggest and deadliest waves known to man, incredible stories of survival during one of nature’s deadliest disasters, and tsunami vs. kittens!

Music: “Tidal Wave” by Fletcher Henderson




Hereafter Tsunami scene (can’t embed)

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Showing 17 comments
  • Gavin Pitts

    I enjoyed PONYO, but it was very “kiddy”, unlike PRINCESS MONONOKE and SPIRITED AWAY, which can also be enjoyed by adults. Also, I keep hearing Ponyo is meant to be a goldfish, but I think this may be a translation error- she does not look like a fish, but looks and behaves more like a Clione (Sea Angel).

    Love THE ABYSS in its uncut form- though I wouldn’t like to work for Mr Cameron!

    • Pai

      Princess Mononoke was not made to be a little kids’ movie. Neither was Porco Rosso or PomPoko. Although lot of Ghibli films have universal appeal, some of their titles are purposely more focused toward one demographic.

  • banks!

    Mew-nami! Genius! I would suggest what happened to Joe during the break was a Poo-nami. Anyway…

    Disclaimer: I know this isn’t even remotely accurate but it was kind of a fun exercise.

    So I got a bit bored and calculated the volume of tears shed at the worst Tsunami. Joe estimated one million people were crying. I found an estimate that the average person cries 121 pints during their lifetime. It was a british stat so I got the average life expectancy of a Brit which was apparently 80 years. I then worked out that approximately a person would cry 0.0007 ounces in an hour. I then multiplied that by one million. We’re looking at 1,350 gallons of tears shed!

    More seriously, things you may have discussed but got edited out…

    Alaska has a tendency to get hit with Tsunamis. The worst was the Megatsunami that destroyed Lituya Bay, which it turns out, is the “highest recorded megatsunami and the largest known in modern times”

    Finally, if you want a good Tsunami film, you might want to check out Tsunami: The Aftermath. It’s an HBO film about the ‘tsunami that devastated the coast of Thailand two years ago’. Great cast. Might make up for Roland Emmerich.

    • banks!

      ps. I KNEW there had to be a superhero named Tsunami. You may not like what you read. SHE FOUGHT FOR THE AXIS POWERS IN WW2!


      • Joe

        We mentioned her, but there wasn’t anything funny or interesting about her so it got cut for time.

  • Chew

    A 10 year old British girl, Tilly Smith, was vacationing with her parents in Indonesia when the earthquake hit. A few weeks before, her science teacher had taught her class about tsunamis and the warning signs of an approaching tsunami. She recognized the signs, told her parents, and her parents told the hotel staff. Everybody was safely evacuated before the tsunami hit. She saved over a hundred lives. Asteroid 20002 Tillysmith is named in her honor.

    • Joe

      Augh! I remember this now and wish I’d remembered it before the show. Great news story!

      Added to my doc for our next Followups episode.

  • Chew

    The mp3 file only plays to 43 minutes.

    • Joe

      Looking into it.

      Nope, working fine for me in both iTunes and the web player above. Redownload?

      • Chew

        Yeah, 4 times. Lemme try again. Fortunately the webpage player works so I was able to listen to the whole episode.

        Ahh. It only plays short on Windows Media Player. It plays fine on other my other audio players.

        Thanks, Joe.

        “Good enough for this podcast.” Ha!

  • Chew

    A father and son in their boat survived the Lituya Bay megatsunami. The BBC interviewed them: World’s Biggest Tsunami | 1720 feet-tall – Lituya Bay, Alaska

  • Jon Paynter

    Great show guys! I would not like to see the poo-nami.

    Small quibble – the 2004 earthquake/tsunami did not occur in the Southern Hemisphere, it was almost exactly at the equator. The countries most effected by the tsunami do not have seasons like we do (i.e. no spring, summer, fall, winter) because the amount of sunshine they get doesn’t vary month to month that much (if you don’t account for cloud cover), unliike our seasons, during which the strength of the sunshine and the hours of day light vary dramatically between winter and summer. They have dry seasons and monsoon seasons, but it is always warm.

  • Derek

    Great ep guys – tres interesting, if horrible.

    Picking up on the Terry Pratchett book last week, he wrote one (a non-Discworld novel) called “The Nation” ( which relates the story of a boy who’s the lone survivor on his little Pacific island after a tsunami similar to the Boxing Day one, set in a parallel, slightly different 1850. He has to clean up the island and bury all the dead and so forth, so it’s pretty harrowing in some passages, but then other people from surrounding islands start rocking up, just banding together. Well worth the read.

    I’m pleased you mentioned the Norwegian tsumani from 8000 odd years ago because I only just heard about that in a doco on the ancient Britons a few weeks ago. Basically there was a massive land bridge between Northern Europe and the British Isles until that came through and pretty much carved out the Channel.

    I love the idea of disaster horror movies too. Excellent idea. Perhaps it could focus on something like a Survivor tv-show set where half the people get killed off when the tsunami comes through and then they have to survive for real.

  • Richard Lee

    Love the show, thanks for all the hard work. Told a couple of friends and coworkers about it, and a few have started downloading. Keep it up.

    • Toren

      You’re welcome! Rate and review us on iTunes – IF YOU DARE

  • Jeb Card

    Regarding the Spanish Atlantis (one of dozens of locales for the place, including Antarctica [tekelili!] and Bolivia), well if you want a bellyful of the ridiculous and depressing, check out these links and the discussion on the first one, on the guy selling it for National Geo (note, the NatGeo channel has the name National Geographic, but is run by Fox, which explains some things).

    Things get nasty in the comments of this one, worth a read

    and before he was peddling Atlantis, he was more melded to the DaVinci Code

    Oh, and the image you guys have up there, not a real image, it’s a fanciful take on Plato’s story and trying to fit it to the Spanish coast. This is what they create it from

  • Phav Nosnibor

    Maybe not in the news, but at least on the newsstands… there was a short but thoughtful piece in last month’s National Geographic about the dangers that come along with tsunami being as infrequent as they are (even in Japan): people learn about the warning signs as kids but, as a generation or two can pass without an area actually seeing one, some people are actually curious enough when they strike that they’ll hang around on the beach just to witness a once-in-a-lifetime event. D’oh.

    (Mockett’s writing is worth a plug in general… there’s nothing especially Jerk-worthy about it, but she’s an honest thinker.)