A flash crash is a very rapid and deep fall in stock or security prices followed by an immediate rebound to approximately the previous price occurring within a short timeframe.
This type of event occurred on 6 May 2010 when a $4.1 billion trade on the NYSE, minuscule against the volume of trading, resulted in a loss to the Dow Jones Industrial Average of over 1000 points and then a rise to approximately previous value, all over about fifteen minutes. The mechanism causing the event has been heavily researched and is in dispute. Further flash crash events may or may not occur.
Two notable flash crashes have occurred as of August 2013:
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Looking back: I remember that day. It was crazy, the market fell over over 1000 points in 15 minutes. LOL. I know someone who was not watching and did not get back into Apple that day. OFM.