'The Simpsons' May Have Predicted La Palma Volcanic Eruption And Mega-Tsunami Fears

Photo: Instagram / YouTube
Susanna Griso and Chloe Talbot from Simpsons

Tighten your tinfoil hats and pack your bags if you live on the east coast of the United States because if history would have it, another one of the Simpsons’ predictions is about to come true.

A volcano on the La Palma island of the Canary Islands has been erupting for eight straight weeks now, beginning on September 19th, sparking fears of catastrophic flooding.

Fears have been ignited about the volcano and a potential tsunami that some think will occur because of the eruption. 

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To add insult to injury, a show that historically predicts natural and societal disasters (looking at you, Trump) might have predicted the “catastrophic failure of its west flank.”

Did 'The Simpsons' predict the La Palma volcanic eruption?

On March 16th, 2003, the Simpsons aired the episode “C.E. D'oh," where Homer and Bart Simpson free a bird from a cage and tell it to fly to the Canary Islands.

The punchline of the joke was that the bird didn’t know where the Canary Islands were, so it flew back in and spun the globe to look for them, revealing the islands before taking off again.

The only problem is, La Palma island was missing the west flank that everyone feared would collapse into the ocean and cause the tsunami.

Whether or not it’s a coincidence remains to be seen — maybe they just made it a little more cartoony by squiggling the lines around, or maybe the writers read the study and were around for the tsunami panic and decided to include it.

But there was another episode of the Simpsons that people unearthed in order fulfill their prophecies that the mega-tsunami would be on its way soon.

A year after that episode was released, they released the episode "She Used to Be My Girl" on December 5th, 2004, where the character Chloe Talbot reported on a volcanic eruption, nearly costing her life before being saved.

Since the Cumbre Viejo volcano is being closely monitored by everyone, including local news, people noticed a similarity between Talbot’s character and a news reporter for Antena3TV, Susanna Griso, who has been covering La Palma’s volcanic eruption.

That was the last straw people needed in order to go into full panic mode and move west — but don’t worry, for those of us left, everything will be totally fine.

Scientists have debated whether the volcanic eruption with cause flooding.

Once upon a time, a couple of researchers published a scholarly article in the 2001 journal Geophysical Research Letters, claiming that a volcanic eruption could result in massive flooding.

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“Geological evidence suggests that during a future eruption,” wrote authors Steven N. Ward and Simon Day, “Cumbre Vieja Volcano on the Island of La Palma may experience a catastrophic failure of its west flank, dropping 150 to 500 km3 of rock into the sea.”

As a result of the “catastrophic failure of its west flank,” the resulting catastrophe would be a tsunami-sized wave that will “transit the entire Atlantic Basin” and grow to over 100ft tall and hit the east coast of the United States.

Thankfully, another scientist by the name of George Pararas-Carayannis refuted these claims in 2002.

“Massive flank failures of island stratovolcanoes are extremely rare phenomena and none have occurred within recorded history,” says Pararas-Carayannis. “Recent numerical modeling studies . . . have been based on incorrect assumptions of volcanic island slope instability, source dimensions, speed of failure and tsunami coupling mechanisms.”

The National Tsunami Warning Center has repeatedly told everyone that there is nothing to fear at this time and that there’s a lot of misinformation in the 2001 study.

The U.S. Geological Survey has said much of the same thing, and that “The Canary Islands ‘mega-tsunami’ hypothesis doesn’t carry water.” (Good one.)

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.