Is there any natural phenomenon in the Avatar world that directly affects Earth and Air Bending the way a Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse affect Fire and Water Bending?

We know the "Day of Black Sun", when a Solar eclipse took place, all fire benders lost their powers temporarily. Same thing happened to the Water Tribe in Book 1 when the Moon spirit was temporarily injured by the Fire Nation and only Aang had any water bending power.

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I'm looking for any canon instances in the cartoon or comic that mentions any type of celestial or natural event that could dampen Air and Earth bender powers.

  • I think it was the ocean spirit that had water bending, or rather was linked to the ocean directly, Aang was just… piloting a ghost fish mech…? OK, I think describing it like that settles the debate whether this is anime. :D Commented Apr 9 at 8:30
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    Using aeresol sprays destroys the ozone layer and weakens airbending. That's why they shave their heads: because air benders can't us hairspray. Commented Apr 9 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


Firebenders get their power from heat sources like the sun, so their powers are weakened when the connection is disrupted, such as at night or during a solar eclipse.

Aside from their main power source, the sun, firebenders also draw their energy from other heat sources, including volcanic activity, lightning, and passing comets

Source: https://avatar.fandom.com/wiki/Firebending

Waterbenders are connected to the moon, so their powers are disrupted by a lunar eclipse.

The descendants of the people living atop the water lion turtle eventually learned to waterbend by observing how the moon pushed and pulled the tides of the ocean

Source: https://avatar.fandom.com/wiki/Waterbending

Earthbenders get their power from the earth, so they need to be touching the ground. You can see that earthbending forms involve a lot of movements of the feet across the ground.

Since earthbenders rely on having access to earth, their ability can be negated by securing them within a metallic barrier, separating them from any contact with the earth

Source: https://avatar.fandom.com/wiki/Earthbending#Weaknesses

So there isn't anything analogous to an eclipse that could impact an earthbender but so far three of the bending forms do involve a connection to a celestial object. Evidently earthbenders should avoid working as astronauts — though who knows, maybe moonbending or marsbending would be a thing…

As for air, it could also be considered part of Earth. Sure, it isn't "physically attached" per se but the atmosphere is held together by the Earth's gravity and is a pretty important trait of Earth, especially as far as people are concerned.

To disrupt an airbender's powers however would require disconnecting them from air, which would just be the same as killing them and is no different than any other bender.

Unlike water and earth, which need a physical source of the element to be bent, or fire, which can be hindered by cold climates, airbenders have a limitless supply of their element, as air is everywhere in the atmosphere. They can never be locked away or hindered from their element through outside means.

Source: https://avatar.fandom.com/wiki/Airbending#Weaknesses

Of course, all bending forms rely on elements that are essential for human life. Water and heat are obvious, and the earth is required for producing sustenance (and shelter). But you can last a lot longer without water, heat, and earth than you can without air.

  • Hmm...a good summation. Functions more as a breakdown of limitations, but was well researched and valid. However, I'd argue Toph's very existence counters both the concept of "seperating them from the earth via metal" and that they need contact with it to function. Hell, King Bumi was able to use attacks when he was jumping about in the air. Still, this does help. Thanks a lot, man.
    – Russhiro
    Commented Apr 10 at 15:02
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    Yea does seem that physical contact with the Earth isn't necessarily always required for earthbenders, but similarly firebenders and waterbenders don't always need the sun / moon around to do their bending. Airbenders need contact with air but it doesn't matter since it's essential for life. I suppose an airbender scuba diving underwater might have some problems but even water contains air. As for Toph, she learned metal bending so encasing her in a metal box wouldn't be any different for her than having contact with the earth.
    – shim
    Commented Apr 10 at 15:41
  • Seems a bit silly actually that a lunar eclipse would affect waterbending — the moon isn't actually obstructed during a lunar eclipse, just the light from the sun is blocked by the earth. That seems to indicate that the light reflected off the moon is somehow involved in the connection between waterbenders and the moon.
    – shim
    Commented Apr 10 at 15:47
  • I think this was done more with the metaphysical effects in mind, with the interaction of energy/gravity that the moon does to pull on/ "bend" water being the analog to the energy/heat generated from the sun and other phenomenon. It wasn't the eclipse which blocked the water bending, it was the disconnect with the moon spirit, essentially highlighting that bending arts are spirit arts, and thus need to be in balance with nature and spirit. The everpresence of earth and air and their less nebulous nature may be why they aren't as affected by outside forces as the other two.
    – Russhiro
    Commented Apr 16 at 13:57
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    ok, so then the connection with the moon spirit is still somehow dependent on the the sun (not really directly related, just an interesting secondary idea…). Also, the elements Earth and Air have fairly analogous connections to the planet Earth that Water and Fire have to Moon and Sun respectively, at least in terms of the theory of my answer. They aren't affected as much because people physically live on the Earth so the connection is more difficult to disrupt.
    – shim
    Commented Apr 16 at 14:34

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