Friday, September 24, 2010

Camera crew in Sahara caught by massive sandstorm

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Sandstorm sweeping in
Sandstorm sweeping in

It must be simultaneously fascinating and often terrifying to be a cameraman for outfits such as the National Geographic Channel, where you get sent all around the world to capture some of the most beautiful and amazing photos of the natural world (and instant screensaver material) at the expense of occasionally getting caught up in some tricky situations. Bob Poole might be able to share one such experience, captured in thrilling video when he and his team were out in Mali, smack dab in the Sahara, to film some elephants and were instead caught by surprise when a massive wall of sand overtook them within minutes, pitching them into near-total darkness and giving the air a very creepy red tinge. [video below the fold]

It may surprise some to note that dust storms aren’t actually all that dangerous in and of themselves. They render breathing rather difficult, obviously, but it’s not as though they went on a rampage and laid waste to anything in their path. They seem like solid walls of doom from outside, but they really are no more than dust flying around in the air at great speeds. They are easily survivable, assuming you can reach some shelter soon enough and keep your eyes and airways protected.

Not that I’d fancy having one of those monsters sneak up on me, though.

(via The Daily Grail)