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The Amazing Race and Major Disasters

Amazing Race Cursed

Are you a fan of The Amazing Race? I am. If you are too, then you were also likely watching the season finale this past Sunday. Were you at all taken aback when one of the places teams got their clues was Coney Island? I was.

Why? Because this is the first thing I thought, “Again? I swear, The Amazing Race must be a jinx. This is like the third time they’ve filmed an episode somewhere only to have some major disaster happen there.”


The first one that popped to mind was the tsunami in Indonesia in 2004. Before that episode aired, Phil explained they had taped in Sri Lanka only a few weeks before the deadly tsunami struck. He dedicated the episode to the memory of the thousands of people who died during that tragedy and their friends in the region.

This episode filmed from August 13, 2004 to September 12, 2004. The tsunami happened on December 26, 2004.


Then I remembered when they did the Family Edition. It was based mostly in the U.S. Louisiana was one of the states visited during the race. I also remembered one of the families that competed during that season was from New Orleans. The season was filmed from July 7 through July 31, 2005. Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005. (The family from NOLA was okay after Katrina but their home sustained major damage.)


Then there was the most recently aired Amazing Race, which finished up in New York City. It filmed May 26, 2012 to June 16, 2012. Hurricane Sandy struck the northeast U.S. on October 29, 2012. New Jersey and New York were particularly hard hit. Among the landmark casualties  was the iconic and much beloved summer destination, Coney Island. Which was one of the places teams went to gather clues and find out where to head next in the Race.


There were also two other major events that popped to mind when I started thinking about places the Amazing Race had gone and then later tragedy struck:

  1. In Season 6 teams went to Iceland. As referenced above, filming happened in 2004 for this season. The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, which caused major air travel issues, happened in 2010.
  2. The Amazing Race Season 13 found teams in New Zealand at one point. That season filmed from April 22, 2008 to May 14, 2008. On September 4, 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the South Island of New Zealand.

The above two events didn’t happen in the same years as the Amazing Race seasons were filmed in the places, but still. The Amazing Race was there at some point.

Crazy correlation? Perhaps. But you have to admit it is kind of weird.

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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2 thoughts on “The Amazing Race and Major Disasters

  1. Very weird indeed, Courtney. I love the show but never knew that the contestants were in areas only months before a natural disaster occurred.

  2. Hey Julie! I forgot you’re an AR fan too! I’m glad someone else thinks it’s weird too. I know connections can be drawn between anything but this stood out to me so I had to write about it. THX for stopping by and reading!

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