Droves of kitsch-loving fans tuned in for Sharknado 2: The Second One on Syfy Wednesday night, watching the made-for-TV disaster flick from the safety of their homes — and snarking about it on Twitter.
But in a world of drones, close calls with meteors and Tara Reid's improbable comeback, one thing is worth repeating, if only for the benefit of your children's future nightmare-less nights: Sharknado is not a real thing.
We repeat: You will never encounter a waterspout that propels man-eating sharks into the air causing mass destruction.
And you can tell your kids you read it on USA TODAY.
"#Climate change may lead to rising sea levels & more intense storms, but currently no science to support the occurrence of a #Sharknado," tweeted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a pre-movie shout-out to the cult flick.
The National Weather service tuned in with a tongue-in-cheek PSA during Wednesday's premiere:
"Is a #Sharknado possible? About as likely as a tsunami of unicorns! #Sharknado2."
For the conspiracy theorists among us, Stephanie Wang at the IndyStar got the science behind exactly why a "sharknado" will never be a thing from Purdue University professor and movie science expert Andy Freed.
Freed teaches Geosciences in the Cinema, an earth, atmospheric and planetary science class that helps students contextualize scientific fact and fiction in movies, from Armageddon to The Perfect Storm.
Here's how Freed lays it out: Compare the size and weight of a shark to, say, a piece of hail. At some point, there is a limit to how heavy hail is that it cannot be held up by winds. Even the biggest piece of hail is not the size of a great white.
The threshold is smaller for a waterspout, he says, which needs to pick an object up out of the water. Sharks are simply too heavy, Freed said, but waterspouts can and have lifted up small, minnow-sized fish and carried them hundreds of miles away.
So there. The proof is in the science.
Meanwhile, blizzards, dust storms, cyclones, actual tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons, hail storms, heavy snowfall and heat waves are happening in the world. We recommend following coverage of USA TODAY weather reporter Doyle Rice for the real scoop on these real, serious weather events.
Contributing: Stephanie Wang, IndyStar