Animals can predict earthquakes: several cases observed throughout history

The news has been largely dominated in recent months by the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, two major disasters which left thousands dead and millions of victims. These last two events also brought to the forefront a question that human beings have been asking for a long time: Can animals predict earthquakes?.

Well, although there is no scientific consensus, the reality is that more and more renowned people, among whom I include myself although I do not have it, are quite clear about the the fact that animals are indeed capable of perceiving the arrival of an earthquake in advance. This statement is not based on air but on real facts, there are many documented cases throughout history where animals changed their behavior significantly just before an earthquake occurred. Here are some examples:

  • In 1755, the famous philosopher Immanuel Kant observed how a large number of worms emerged at the same time from their underground hiding places near Cadiz (Spain). Eight days later, Portugal suffered a devastating earthquake.

  • In 1975, officials in the Chinese city of Haicheng decided to evacuate the city after observing that the animals were beginning to behave in unusual ways. Shortly after, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Haicheng, destroying 90% of the buildings.

  • On June 25, 1966, the California town of Parkfield was flooded by a wave of rattlesnakes that abandoned the hills where they normally live en masse. Two days later, Parkfield suffered an earthquake.

  • On February 28, 2001, most of Seattle's cats hid for no apparent reason. Two days after the event, the city was hit by an earthquake.

  • Shortly before the great tragedy suffered in Haiti on January 12, we were all able to see this video where a dog fled like the soul of the devil. Seconds later, the office building he was in started shaking like custard.

Depression, an evolutionary advantage?

These are just a few cases but there are many others as well as various studies, for example the one developed in the Chinese province of Guangxi where a group of researchers continuously monitored a group of snakes and the conclusions were clear: they behave erratically and aggressively. before an earthquake occurs.

All of these cases seem to clearly indicate that animals are indeed capable of predicting earthquakes. Now, more research is needed to better understand how animals detect earthquakes and which animals do it better and earlier. Knowing more about this topic will help man a lotCurrently our earthquake detection instruments, as has been proven once again in recent months, are not as reliable as they should be. Many lives could be saved if we learned to better understand the behavior of animals in the face of earthquakes and could also be used to detect them in advance.

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