What It Feels Like to Be Inside a Tornado (PHOTOS)

Kiri Blakeley | May 22, 2013 Healthy Living

Being inside of a tornado is one of the most dangerous and scary things you can imagine. Unfortunately thousands of people in and around Oklahoma City, Oklahoma know what that is like now and 24 of them didn't survive it. Since that area is prone to tornadoes, some of them had even already known what it felt like. There are people who actually make it their business to chase after tornadoes and get in the middle of them. But most of us will, thankfully, never know what it's like. We can only use our imagination. If you're lucky enough to survive one, you've got a hell of a story. Here's what happens when you're inside this deadly force of nature from those who experienced it.


Image via Paz Leonel/Flickr

  • They're Incredibly Loud


    Image via Ron Cogswell/Flickr

    Tornadoes are extremely loud. People have described them as sounding like a freight train or locomotive. "Feels like a freight train is going to go up your back," said one. Says another: "I heard one heck of a freight train barreling through the field. We were MILES away from any functioning train tracks." It's preceded by an eerie dead silence.

  • The Air Pressure Drops


    Image via ex_magician/Flickr

    The air pressure drops and it can feel like you're on a plane coming in for a landing. Your ears pop. Says one tornado rider: "The pressure was what really got us. Our ears popped several times within just a few seconds, and then there was a dead calm that happened almost immediately." Says another: "Great force came down on me, and I thought I was going to die. The pressure inside my ears was unthinkable. I thought I was deaf."

  • Everything Goes Dark and Far Away


    Image via epSos.de/Flickr

    One man wrote in Esquire about his experience of being picked up by a tornado. He says: "Ever been in a deep sleep and someone's yelling, but you can barely hear them? It was something like that. I could hear everything, feel stuff, but I couldn't see anything. I had my eyes closed, just keeping the wind and debris from getting in. I was being struck by debris but couldn't really feel it. I just felt a deep pain. At one point I took a blow to the head. I didn't know how much longer I could handle the abuse."

  • It's a Bumpy Ride


    Image via Kristin Nador/Flickr

    One person described the sensation as being like a rollercoaster: "It felt like just black, and it felt like a hard rollercoaster ride. I was jerked back and forth a few times and then everything stopped."

  • They Smell Like Nature


    Image via HummyHummy/Flickr

    Tornadoes apparently smell nice though. People have described them smelling like rain, fresh cut wood, and even grass.

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