When news broke that Donald Trump had been privately raising the idea of dropping nuclear bombs on hurricanes, the idea was widely mocked.
But to fans of campy movies, it also sounded very familiar.
After the report this weekend of the president’s bizarre idea, many took to social media to note that this idea is pulled almost exactly out of the plot of Sharknado 3, the end of the Syfy trilogy of intentionally bad movies about storms filled with killer sharks. Raw Story also picked up on bizarre similarities between Trump’s alleged plan and the plot of Sharknado 3.
Trump’s plan was first reported by Axios, which claimed that the president had actually suggested the idea multiple times to his senior officials, including top officials at the Department of Homeland Security. Trump apparently thought that dropping a nuclear bomb on a hurricane could stop it from making landfall in the United States.
One source who was in the meeting at the time that Trump raised the idea said the president appeared to be dead serious about doing it.
“I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” Trump said, according to the firsthand source. “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?”
It is not clear if there is any evidence that a nuclear bomb would be able to stop a hurricane, as there does not appear to be any scientific research that supports the effectiveness of the tactic. National Geographic noted that hurricane modification was once an area of intensive research in the 1960s and ’70s, with experiments on weakening cyclones through the use of silver iodide. None of it panned out, however.
We cannot believe we have to say this but elected officials should get their climate policy recommendations from frontline communities and science, not the movie Sharknado https://t.co/EavY6rGyBY— 350 dot org (@350) August 26, 2019
There is no evidence that Donald Trump got the idea directly from Sharknado 3, though he does share something of a connection to the movie franchise. As Business Insider noted, Trump was once considered to play the role of the president of the United States in the movie. Trump had even agreed to appear in the movie after Ian Ziering, the star of the series and a former contestant on Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, reached out to Trump and discussed the role. But the talks fizzled as Trump went on to launch his real presidential bid in 2015.
Though Trump did become the real president of the United States, he was apparently angry that he didn’t get to play the fake one in Sharknado 3. The report noted that Trump was upset when he learned that fellow billionaire Mark Cuban got the role instead.