Louisiana to Disappear Completely by July, Scientists Say

It was bound to happen.


March 15, 2015

I found the following press release from “Rice College” in my mailbox at work, after posting my recent piece about Louisiana’s higher education problems infecting the rest of the country. The return address on the envelope is from the warehouse where Doc Savage keeps his man toys, and the contact names are for folks from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. 

Putin-style, the news release is dated for the future, July 2, 2015.

I’ve had to edit for mechanical errors, but the release has a certain prescience and reveals an understanding of both Louisiana politics and Earth science. Normally, Baton Rouge, I’d be looking eastward at you right now, but there’s a hint of origin in Austin. In any case, I’m planning my family vacation in July for Illinois.


Giant Landslide in Gulf of Mexico Swallows Louisiana

Rice Geology, University of Texas, Texas A&M, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa scientists identify possible cause for recent Gulf Coast cataclysm.

TUSCALOOSA—(July 2, 2015)

Earth scientists today reported what appears to be the largest landslide in historic times and one that resulted in the entire state of Louisiana losing strength, failing, and slumping across the continental shelf and slope and into the deep Gulf of Mexico Basin. Satellite photographs show the state’s former geographic location is now occupied by a large embayment bounded by Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Early sonar soundings of the embayment show it to be typically very deep (1,500 to 6,000 feet) with very steep slopes. 

Because no geoscientists from Louisiana, including the remaining faculty at the recently renamed Louisiana State University and Vocational College, have been found among survivors and could be reached for comment, the origin of the large slide is still being studied.

Geologists at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Rice College, University of Texas, Texas A&M, and other regional institutions have formed a scientific consortium to investigate the disaster. [...] According to [a spokesman], the slide was a result of an initial failure of the upper continental slope just offshore Grand Isle that, through a process known as “retrogressive slumping,” ate its way north, eventually causing the entire state to fail, collapse, and flush itself into the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. [T]he initial slumping likely resulted from the rapid loading of financial debt, ignorance, and toxic wastes on the state over the past decade, combined with a rapid drop in relative State revenues, fiscal failure, and the repeal of the Stelly Tax Plan.

At a political engagement in Iowa, Governor Jindal expressed sentiments that more than natural forces were involved in this calamity. In a late-night speech and prayer session, he expressed agreement with political pundit Sarah Palin that constitutional amendments against gay marriage and abortion need to be passed before any more acts of Divine retribution against the United States could occur. The governor also requested that the FBI investigate the role of Islamic terrorists in causing this cataclysmic landslide.

With the agreement of the United States Geological Survey and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the resulting massive scar on the continental slope has been named by researchers the Louisiana Canyon, and the large pile of debris covering the Gulf of Mexico abyssal plain has been respectfully named the Louisiana Fan. It promises to be the focus of many graduate theses and dissertations in years to come.

The newly-formed embayment in the Gulf has been named the Bay of Prosperity. State officials in Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi are quickly putting together plans to develop the nearly 1,000 miles of new shoreline into an oceanfront playground that promises to generate billions of dollars in tax revenue and thousands of new jobs for eager workers.

In addition to the Rice College team, the project’s primary investigators include Dr. Horst Graben of the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Otto Stedinbed of University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Dr. Yar Dang of Texas A&M University, and Tur B. Dite of the United States Geological Survey. Research affiliates include Ivan Goffenoff of Shell, and Dr. Ed Sker of the University of British Columbia.


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