20 Most Unimaginable Flukes of Nature in Sports

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIJanuary 10, 2012

20 Most Unimaginable Flukes of Nature in Sports

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    Call her Mother Nature, Mother Earth, Mama PachaGais, Terra, Tellus, or what you will. We're all talking about the same lady. The one that rules the tides and the rains, the birds and the beasts.

    She's mercurial, capricious and more than a touch moody.

    But is she a sports fan? 

    My guess is no. In fact she does what she can to cancel games, to pummel stadium roofs, to make conditions, muddy, icy, foggy or worse.

    But when she is really pissed off at the athletes of the world, Mama Pacha does some pretty freaky stuff. 

    Click on to see her best attempts to sabotage the sporting world.

20. Lightning Strike!

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    And these guys got off easy.

    Back in 1998, an entire squad was struck dead in South Africa.

19. Seagull Sabotage!

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    This happened back at the 1998 Players Championship.

    Steve Lowery was the victim, so I've dubbed the incident...

    "Steve'n Seagull"

18. Hail!

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    Mother Nature she giveth (a lovely rainbow) and she taketh away (any chance of this ball game getting started up again).

17. Squirrel Upstages Game

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    This woodland-creature-run-amok incident happened in 2008 at Progressive Field in Cleveland and it quickly became a favorite gag of the Earth deity.

    She did it again in 2010 at a Twins/Yankees game.

    And again and again in back-to-back Cardinals/Phillies games in 2011.

16. Thunderstorm During Phillies-Indians Game

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    Wind was so strong that day, not even a tractor could hold the tarp down.

    The storm thrashed the field for 1 hour and 37 minutes, then game was back on and the Phillies finished their own thrashing.

15. Gator Golf

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    Big deal, you say? Happens all the time down in the bayou.

    Well, Mama Nature has bigger fish to throw at our golf courses. 

    No kidding. 

    Click on.

14. Shark Golf

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    The story goes like this: once upon time in the Land Down Under, Mother Nature conjured up a flood.

    For a bit of added fun, she knocked down a river bank and let a handful of man-eating bull sharks whoosh down into a lake on the 14th tee of the Carbrook Golf Club.

    There they lived happily ever after.

    The End.

13. Texas Tech vs. Texas State Dust Storm

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    Like a scene out of "The Mummy," isn't it?

    This choking cloud of dust assaulted a crowd of more than 51,000 in September 2011 at Jones AT&T Stadium.

12. Whale Nearly Takes out Surfer

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    Pick your corny one-liner:

    a) it's a real surfari

    b) this only happens once in a whale

    c) the flukes of hazard

11. 1989 World Series Earthquake

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    It's October 17, 1989 at 5:04 pm. 

    Game 3 of the World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants is supposed to start in 31 minutes. 

    The A's are up by two games.

    About half of the 62,000 fans have arrived at Candlestick Park.

    Announcers Tim McCarver, Al Michaels and Jim Palmer are up in the broadcast booth.

    Sixty miles south-southeast of San Francisco beneath the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate tussle and then one slips down against the other.

    A magnitude of 6.9 quake roars across the Bay Area.

    Luckily, Candlestick held up well. Though there are doubts that it would have, had it been filled to capacity.

    Around the region, others weren't so lucky.

10. Bat + Fog

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    Mother Nature was apparently feeling out of sorts on this day and decided to take it out on the Sabres and the Flyers in Game 3 of the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals.

    First she sent a bat down to flutter among the players. Sabres center Jim Lorentz whacked the creature with his stick and killed it.

    This really got up M.N.'s ire. So within minutes, she engulfed the rink in fog

    And forever cursed the Sabres from winning a Stanley Cup.

9. Dirt Devils!

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    Pesky little weather phenomena, these guys are. 

    At times quite powerful, too.

8. Avalanche!

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    Sorry, but the Paranormal Activity movies are like Pixar films up against this real-life horror flick.

    Do you hear the guy moan?

    Do you see the way his arms are pinned up?

    Hope you enjoy your next ski outing.

7. Whale Takes out Yacht

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    Mother Earth packs 60-ton cetaceans, and she's not afraid to use them.

6. Tornado Rips Across Soccer Field

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    Two players and an assistant ref were injured in this natural act of fury during a South African league game back in 1997.

5. Kangaroo on Race Track

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    The Earth goddess did her best to create a deadly pile up in this surreal episode back in October 2007 at the Bathurst 1000, in New South Wales.

4. Swarm!

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    Is this the 11th plague of Egypt come to Latin America?

    Have mercy, Mother Nature. 

3. Vulture Meets Parachute at 10,000 Feet

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    The incident happened on Oct. 17, 2011 over the Himalayas.

    Mama's weapon: a Himalayan Griffin Vulture

    Check out video at the time code reading 00:30 for the incoming avian missiles. 

    Again at 00:42 for a good shot of the bird tangled in the chute cords.

2. Twister Takes out Soccer Game

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    Abunai! Abunai!

    Um, Toto, I'm pretty sure we're not in Yokohama anymore.

1. Antelope Obliterates Mountain Biker

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    In a video that has already become a web classic, the all powerful Mother Earth lets Evan Van Der Spuy (a.k.a. "Buck Norris") of Team Jeep South Africa, know that she doesn't appreciate him ripping up her savannas with his Diamond Back.

    Her weapon of choice? A red hartebeest.

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