Utah September 30, 2015
The 8 Most Likely Ways Utah Will Be Wiped Off the Map
Did you see the movie “San Andreas” this summer? I’m ashamed to admit that I paid money to see it (that’s nine bucks and 2.5 hours I’ll never get back). As I sat in the theater, looking around at my fellow Utahns who had also just wasted their money, I wondered if any of them were thinking the same thing I was: This movie is stupid…but hey, don’t we have a great, big, humongous fault line here in Utah??? Well, we do. And, as you’ll see below, someday Utah will likely have a big earthquake. But that’s just one of the ways in which our state’s residents could find themselves wishing that The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) will show up with a helicopter, RV or speedboat to save us.
1. Holy War
The annual Utah Holy War between the University of Utah and BYU has never sparked riots, bombings or mass panic, but it could conceivably happen. Luckily for us (not so luckily for ticket sales), this season is the first since WWII that the teams won’t play each other. The next Holy War is scheduled for September 10, 2016. That gives you an entire year to stockpile survival supplies.
2. Swarms of Mormon Crickets
Utah’s skies could blacken with a gigantic swarm of Mormon crickets. It’s happened before, at least to some extent. If we all pray really hard, seagulls will fly in and eat all the crickets and save us from certain devastation. Oh, wait. We already have a bunch of seagulls. As long as the swarm starts near the Salt Lake County dump, or the Great Salt Lake, we’ll be just fine.
3. Yellowstone Supervolcano Eruption
Recent media hype focused on the Yellowstone Supervolcano, which could easily cover the entire state of Utah in searingly-hot lava if it erupts again. The last time it did so was around 640,000 years ago, which is why I’ve used a photo of a volcano in Hawaii here — because cameras didn’t exist back then. The U.S. Geological Survey states that its scientists, "see no evidence that another such cataclysmic eruption will occur at Yellowstone in the foreseeable future.” But who are you going to believe? Scientists or the media?
4. Supervillain Attack at Comic Con
Nothing terrifies villains like a huge gathering of superheroes. When Comic Con comes to town, Salt Lake’s streets fill with superheroes (or at least Utahns dressed as superheroes). It’s surprising to me that Salt Lake City hasn’t already been hit by Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants, or some other supervillain tribe. Imagine the destruction once that happens! Buildings in Salt Lake will crumble, bullets and lasers will rain from the sky and the innocent citizens of Utah will be caught in the middle of the war between Good and Evil.
5. Suffocation by Pollution
The American Lung Association recently ranked Salt Lake County as the 7th most polluted city in the nation. Before those of you in the rest of the state start patting yourselves on the back (and breathing deeply), you should know that five other counties (Davis, Weber, Utah, Box Elder and Cache) received D’s or F’s for air quality. At the rate we’re going, we might just render our air unbreathable. Which, of course, would result in death within 3 minutes or so. Even The Rock can’t save us from this one.
6. Blood Moon Eclipse Apocalypse
It didn’t happen in 2015. But there’s always 2033! I don’t care what the LDS Church says. If author Julie Rowe had a dream about it, it must be true.
7. Mormons Change Their Minds
Sure, Utah was “The Place” back in 1847. But what if Church leaders decide that this earthquake-prone, cricket-infested state isn’t Zion after all? If it were up to me I might move Church headquarters to a tropical island paradise somewhere. It would be much easier for Mormons to relocate now than it was in 1847. No need for a covered wagon or handcart — just hop on a plane or cruise ship! Non-Mormon residents would probably stay here. They would have to adjust to the idea that now everyone is at Costco on Sunday, and the University of Utah would have to be satisfied stomping on the Oregon Ducks instead of the BYU Cougars.
The possibilities above are unlikely, but this one is real. Experts predict that we could have an earthquake of a 6.0-7.5 magnitude along the Wasatch Fault at any time. The bad news is that there’s not much we can do about it — we can’t predict when the quake will happen. The good news is that we can prepare for the aftermath. Keep plenty of water on hand and have an evacuation plan. Most importantly, gather some of your favorite food items to help you cope after the devastation (in addition to powdered eggs and inedible wheat, I’m adding chocolate bars and beef jerky to my food storage). While a major earthquake could be horrific, Utahns will fare better than those fictional residents of San Francisco in the movie “San Adreas” — we won’t have a tsunami (or horrendous acting) to deal with.
What horrible devastation do you think is mostly likely to occur in Utah? Share your ideas with us in the comments!