There’s something about disasters that makes us look. We know that we’re looking at something terrible, but we can’t bear to look away.
I remember the 11th September 2001 clearly; in the office I worked in at the time, everything came to a standstill as everybody was transfixed by the news coming out of the USA. Across the country, my mother caught sight of the footage on television and sank to her knees, staying there for hours. Countless others have similar stories. It’s a universal experience.
And while disasters happen all the time – take a look at the infographic below for some quick facts – the majority of us are far more likely to be digital onlookers rather than involved first hand.
So what is it about a tragedy that fascinates us so?
That’s what I’m talking about in the special prologue episode of the Great Disasters podcast.