Watch This Massive Landslide Move Faster Than Water

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: March 20, 2024
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This has got to be one of the most terrifying journeys ever. Travelling around our planet is fascinating but every journey carries an element of risk. Billions of people travel on roads every day and most journeys are uneventful. This one wasn’t! Don’t miss this catastrophic landslide that could have ended in tragedy.

Watch the Action Now!

Huge Landslide Obliterates the Road

The short Instagram post can be viewed above. The mind-blowing footage was shared by the Discover Our Nature account which curates “what mother nature is capable of”. The account has nearly 500K followers and this post received over half a million likes. The account also shares footage of storms, ice, and snow.

Vehicles Almost Swept Away

The person capturing this clip was extremely lucky to escape with their life as were all the other road users that we see. According to the European Geosciences Union, between 2004 and 2016 a total of 55,997 people were killed by non-seismic landslides. A University of Washington Newsletter article describes how 43 people were killed in a rural community called Oso in Washington State in 2014 by a landslide. The article also describes that landslide as the deadliest in US history.

We get a front-seat view of what it is like to experience a landslide in China in the above clip. The vehicles are edging forward when a few rocks tumble onto the road in front of them. Then the entire mountainside appears to slump and finally cascade onto the road. Rocks, dirt, huge boulders, trees, and plants are swept downwards at huge speeds. There is hardly any time to react but the vehicles that we can see reverse pretty quickly and manage to stay out of harm’s way. Meanwhile, the entire road is blocked and looks as if it will stay that way for a long time.

What Causes Landslides?

Landslides are caused by a combination of factors.

©iStock.com/PK6289

Landslides are defined by the United States Geological Survey as “the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope.” Any movement down a slope of soil and rock could be called a landslide. But not all landslides are the same! They can be divided into falls, topples, slides, spreads, and flows. They can consist of soil, rocks, debris, or mud.

The causes of landslides are complex and usually multifactorial. Let’s start with gravity – this force is always acting to push anything on a slope downward. If the forces holding the slope in place become weaker than gravity, things are going to start moving down-slope. These forces can be weakened by rainfall, changes in water level, snowmelt, stream erosion, earthquakes and volcanoes, and human activities. It is often a combination of these things that eventually makes the earth move.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Amit kg/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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