Sharknado: Trump’s Idea to Bomb Hurricanes

Lauren Mitchell, Media Editor

On August 25th, Twitter blew up the internet with #sharknado. 

The trending topic surrounded President Trump allegedly saying that in order to stop any future hurricanes, they should bomb them. However, Trump has denied these accusations, but the site Axios, who posted the story using an anonymous source, still stands behind what they reported.

Now waking up to find Sharknado trending on twitter is a weird flashback. The Sharknado movie they are referencing is Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! In the 2015 disaster movie, characters must cause a huge explosion that halts the storm for a short amount of time. 

The relation to the White House is the fear for future hurricanes, specifically, Hurricane Dorian, which hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm. Axios, the site who posted the original story saying that Trump said this, uses an anonymous source that was in one of the hurricane briefings with National Security.

I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” The source paraphrased what Trump said at the meeting as, “They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?” 

The source continued saying that the people in the meeting were dumbfounded, “You could hear a gnat fart in that meeting. People were astonished. After the meeting ended, we thought, ‘What the …? What do we do with this?’”

After the story was posted and Twitter blew up with memes of how this idea is the same solution they had for Sharknado, Trump hopped on Twitter and denied these claims. 

“Just returned to Washington from France and the very successful G-7, only to find that the Fake News is still trying to perpetuate the phony story that I wanted to use Nuclear weapons to blow up hurricanes before they reach shore,” Trump tweeted.

Photo Credit: The Wrap

Following this, Axios said that there is a National Security Council memo proving he said this, but it won’t be released. A senior administration official told Axios, “We don’t comment on private discussions that the president may or may not have had with his national security team.”

Underneath President Trump’s tweet claiming Axios as fake news, Jonathan Swan, the Axios reporter who wrote the story, said, “I stand by every word in the story. He said this in at least two meetings during the first year and a bit of the presidency, and one of the conversations was memorialized.”

At this point it is unclear whether Trump asked his advisers about the practicality of stopping hurricanes with nuclear bombs, as it is unproven. However, if you are wondering why this idea would not work, here is why.

This idea was proposed back in the 1950s as well, but scientists decided against it after learning about the radiation contamination. Scientists nowadays are worried that in doing so, we wouldn’t be stopping the storm, but possibly making it stronger. 

“Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm,” said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  This approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems. Needless to say, this is not a good idea.

To add on to this bad idea, dropping a nuclear bomb into a hurricane is banned according to the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. 

With all the facts aside, the Sharknado memes are fun and somewhat harmless that even Thunder Levin, writer of Sharknado, joined in on the fun. 

“The most scary thing about sharknadoes is that they seem to have foisted the Trump presidency on us,” Levin said. “Perhaps if we’d let him play the president in ‘Sharknado 3…’ he would have gotten it out of his system and we wouldn’t have to deal with him playing the president now. Since I was one of the strongest opponents to him getting the role — I simply didn’t think he’d be believable — I feel I must apologize to the world.”

All in all, once again, President Trump is put in headlines for something he claims he didn’t do, and says it’s fake news. What do you believe? Did Trump really say these things? Or is Axios making up the story?