VolcanoOn view Feb. 6 to May 2, Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s upcoming exhibition Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters explores natural disasters through stunning displays, state-of-the-art animations, large-scale images, and cultural artifacts that reveal the dynamic relationship we have with the Earth.

Nature Unleashed focuses on four types of disasters – earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes. These phenomena are the spectacular results of the forces that drive our ever-changing planet. From Pompeii to Papua New Guinea to New Orleans to Greenburg, Kansas, Nature Unleashed examines the science behind the headlines and the Earth’s history. The exhibition illustrates how much we know – and how much we are still learning – about nature’s incredible power.

Museum visitors can witness what it’s like to stand inside a roaring tornado; trigger an underwater earthquake; simulate a tsunami; create a virtual volcano; touch and examine real rock and lava specimens; discover how people adapt to living at risk; and witness the resiliency of disaster survivors. The exhibition shows that while storms, volcanoes, and other events are formidable, they are completely natural phenomena. Whether they’re disasters depends on the choices we make. Nature Unleashed examines how we can prepare for, and potentially minimize, the impact of nature’s fury.

The exhibit opens just weeks after the devastating Haiti earthquake, and Fernbank President Susan Neugent said she hoped Nature Unleashed “will provide visitors with the scientific explanations for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornados and hurricanes while showcasing that even in the face of tragedy, there is nothing stronger than the resiliency of the human spirit.”

Fernbank Museum will also show the IMAX film Forces of Nature, which  joins scientists as they follow earthquakes, tornados, volcanic eruptions and severe storms to learn more about these incredible events. Tickets for Nature Unleashed are included with museum admission. Fernbank admission prices are $15 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, $13 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for Museum Members and children ages 2 and younger. For those who want to experience the Museum and IMAX film, Fernbank offers Value Pass admission at $23 for adults, $21 for students and seniors, $19 for children and $8 for Fernbank members. Children under 3 years old receive free admission on a space-available basis. www.fernbankmuseum.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.