Weather phenomena, delusional edition...
September 19, 2017 10:52 AM   Subscribe

I woke up in intensive care on January 13, quite delusional. I "remember" quite a few things which, I am told, didn't really happen. The most vivid memory was of watching the weather Channel from my hospital bed and hearing of weather phenomena (severe storms and even forest fires) on earth caused by a conjuction of the planets including Pluto and Jupiter. I can find no reference to this now that I am in my right mind. Did my subconscious make this up, too?
posted by brownrd to Science & Nature (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

According to Wikipedia, the only two planetary conjunctions in January 2017 were Mars/Neptune (1/1) and Venus/Neptune (1/13).

In any event, other than giving a few of us nerds a wicked astronomy chubby, planetary conjunctions do not affect anything on Earth, including the weather. It is very unlikely the weather channel would be reporting an actual weather event relating to planetary alignments.

Is it possible you were watching something like the Discovery Channel, who might have had one of those "did Bigfoot build the pyramids?" shows running?

It's unlikely that any basic cable station at all would be reporting the Venus/Neptune conjunction on the 13th, as that sort of thing wouldn't even be visible with the naked eye, and not of much interest to anyone short of a few astronomers.
posted by bondcliff at 11:05 AM on September 19, 2017 [8 favorites]

For what it's worth, there were a number of notable astronomic events recently, though they don't match your schedule. Likewise in there was a planetary alignment in 2016 , but that was also earlier in the year. Further: planets don't affect the weather, aligned or not, despite that being a fairly routine part of astrology-kook doomsaying.

It's quite possible that, as Bondcliff notes, you were put in front of enough of the wrong kind of Discovery Channel reruns at the wrong moment that there's a bunch of that rattling around in your brain now. On the bright side, at least it's not "ALIENS" guy.
posted by mhoye at 11:13 AM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think you probably didn't totally make it up, you just smushed together things you saw sequentially: maybe you watched a real weather channel reporting on real storms and fires, and then flipped to a show that mentioned planetary conjunctions (either a real astronomy documentary or a silly/fake/ancient aliens thing).
posted by SaltySalticid at 11:13 AM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Or, alternatively: I'm not saying it was The Discovery Channel. But it was the Discovery Channel.
posted by mhoye at 11:13 AM on September 19, 2017 [12 favorites]

I'm with bondcliff. It's actually fairly common for those ancient aliens type shows to claim that ancient catastrophes like earthquakes, volcanoes, severe weather, etc. can be linked to planetary conjunctions.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:15 AM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bondcliff noooooooo LOL it was on TWC. I actually figured I didn't really see it here in this world. May have been in some alternate universe (just kidding ya'll). Some of the stuff I remember was so "real" it's made me question the entire concept of reality.
posted by brownrd at 11:15 AM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that was a hallucination. It may or may not have been influenced by bits and pieces of things you did see/hear on TV, but the thing you remember didn't really happen.

One of my family members spent some months delirious and hallucinating in the hospital. He recalls it as a months-long nightmare. I'd honestly recommend talking to a therapist; this is a scary, traumatic thing to experience, precisely because it does mess with your sense of reality.
posted by snowmentality at 11:43 AM on September 19, 2017 [6 favorites]

Snowmentality, despite a remark that I made to my wife that I am only 99% sure I even left the hospital and that all of "this" could be a hallucination (which alarmed her greatly until I told her that I was joking. Sort of.) I have not been greatly distressed. Could be because I've been into scifi since I was a kid. In any case thanks all. Marking as resolved.
posted by brownrd at 12:07 PM on September 19, 2017

Perhaps I am sticking my nose where it doesn't belong. But there is a possibility that you have already asked your wife, doctors, and/or others whether this really happened, that they told you firmly "no," and that you didn't accept their answer and so came to the web to seek a second opinion. If that is even a possibility, I think it is a thing that your wife, doctors, and/or others would probably like to know about and talk about.
posted by sheldman at 12:29 PM on September 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

Irrelevant astrological interlude: Jupiter conjunct Pluto happens every 13 years; the last time was 2007; it lasts about three months because both planets move very slowly.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:37 PM on September 19, 2017

The popularity of the eclipse has resulted in more news about fairly ordinary celestial events. And there are some nutters claiming end of days due to something or other, so you may have heard a bit of this and a bit of that. I hope you're okay.
posted by theora55 at 1:21 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am OK. I am not obsessively asking everyone I know. I didnt ask anyone except for my adult son and he said he didn't know. I only asked here because I didn't find it using Google and I was curious. I found the whole experience enlightening if nothing else.
posted by brownrd at 1:41 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

So I fall asleep listening to audiobooks all the time, and I have had many occasions where my dreaming brain will take the story I was hearing and continue it in all kinds of improbable directions. The transition between the book and my own wacky additions can be quite seamless! it's pretty fascinating, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if this was happening to you.
It's like:
waking brain "this is some serious weather we're having"
sleeping brain "hold my beer"
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:02 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

"ICU psychosis" is a thing. Someone close to me was in the icu for a long time, and he would occasionally call me and describe detailed hallucinations. To this day, years later, he insists they felt 100% real. I'm glad you're out of the hospital, and I wouldn't dwell on this.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 11:21 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Are you a Flash Gordon fan? Was there hot hail? Did you check the angular vector of the moon?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:02 PM on September 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

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