Mr. Tornado’s Theories That Were like Luna’s Crumple-Horned Snorkacks
Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita is widely known for his creation of the Fujita scale to measure the intensity of a tornado. Fujita’s dedication to studying tornadoes earned him the nickname “Mr. Tornado.” But there is another facet of Fujita’s research that reminds a Harry Potter fan of Luna Lovegood’s plight to prove the existence of Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and other magical species.
Besides creating the Fujita scale, Fujita had other ideas about tornadoes and other extreme weather events. But Fujita struggled to get some of his ideas about severe weather phenomena accepted by scientists and meteorologists. The first of these was a multiple suction vortex tornado. The most basic explanation for this phenomenon is that there are small tornado funnels within larger tornadoes (basically a tornado within a tornado). When Fujita first presented the multiple suction vortex tornado, a lot of people were skeptical.
According to the PBS American Experience documentary Mr. Tornado, Fujita responded to people’s disbelief by saying, “Not to have seen something does not mean that such a thing does not exist,” which sounds a lot like the reasoning Luna uses to refute Hermione’s skepticism about Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and Heliopaths: “just because you’re so narrow-minded you need to have everything shoved under your nose” (OotP 345). Unlike Luna and her family’s belief in Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, Fujita was eventually able to gather enough evidence to prove multiple suction vortex tornadoes exist.
Shortly after that, Fujita was asked to investigate seemingly freak airplane crashes. From that, Fujita discovered downbursts and microbursts, the air that moves down from the sky and disperses on the ground. Again, it took some time for people to accept Fujita’s findings. But once downbursts and microbursts were verified phenomena, the airlines and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were able to implement tests and protocols to detect and avoid the bursts, preventing future plane accidents.
As we go into a new school year, think about Mr. Tornado and Luna as you prepare any research papers you may write. If you have an idea for a research topic that can help people or change the world in positive ways but you worry about how well it would be received beyond your classroom, research it anyway. Don’t let rejections or people’s skepticism deter you.
For example, I tried to get into a rhetoric graduate program to study, among other things, the relationship between humans and non-humans in the wizarding world. But the program did not believe any of my ideas were of scholastic merit, and I was not accepted. I was gutted. But then two months later, I got an offer to write articles here on MuggleNet. Now, I can write about any topic I want to related to the wizarding world and its fandom, and more people will read the articles I write here than in an academic journal. Also, I’m having much more fun writing for MuggleNet and making more friends than I would have had in a rhetoric program.
Honestly, research and learn what you want and see how the chips fall. Maybe your own research will turn out like Fujita’s, and once people start using your idea, it could improve or even save lives. If you’re like Luna and never find a Crumple-Horned Snorkack, that’s okay too because you still learned things from your experience. Luna gained a lot of quality time with her dad, and it introduced her to the career where she crossed paths with Rolf Scamander. Often, opportunities present themselves in unexpected ways and lead to experiences that are even better than what you originally anticipated.