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The Karl May's book Winnetou III describes Old Shatterhand crawling almost dead trough the Llano Estacado desert. Near perishing, he encounters enourmous field of dry cactuses. Then he burns the cactuses and the heat causes clouds to be formed and eventually rain begins. Is such thing possible?

closed as off-topic by Suma, Larian LeQuella Dec 30 '14 at 14:58

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    Does a work of fiction constitute a notable claim that this is possible? – Nate Eldredge Dec 29 '14 at 23:21
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    @Nate: Sometimes, if the authors truly are making the claim and/or a reasonable person might believe it. – Oddthinking Dec 30 '14 at 0:52
  • Winnetou III was written in 1893, well before research into cloud-seeding began in 1946. I'm having trouble seeing why anyone would look to this book for real claims. – Oddthinking Dec 30 '14 at 0:58
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    Old Shatterhand does lots of heroic things which look kind of reasonable and clever, but would never work in real life. “He is the most brilliant representative of a truly original type of fiction – i.e. fiction as wish-fulfillment…” - Herman Hesse or "... in all his works there abound events and coincidences that are unbelievable, ..." Ben Novak, Cowboys und Indians – Suma Dec 30 '14 at 7:56

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