Can Animals Sense Natural Disasters?


| 18 Comments

Having lived in Bermuda for the majority for my life preparing for hurricanes is second nature to me. Every year we usually encounter at least one hurricane or large tropical storm. Before the hurricane reaches the Island you can see locals boarding up windows, stocking up on canned goods at the supermarket and tying trees down with rope in their back yards. In the midst of all when animals move to higher ground are they doing so because the can sense natural disaster?


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All good questions, huh? Well I did some research and here's what I found:

 

"On December 26, 2004, an earthquake along the floor of the Indian Ocean was responsible for a tsunami that claimed the lives of thousands of people in Asia and East Africa. In the midst of all the destruction, wildlife officials at Sri Lanka's Yala National Park reported no mass animal deaths."

The Yala National Park is well known for its diversity of animal species as it is populated by hundreds of all different types of wild animals including elephants, leopards, and monkeys. Due to the number of approximate animal deaths researchers became curious and raised the question "Are animals able to sense danger long before humans do?"

What the researchers discovered was that because animals have a keen sense to help them avoid predators and locate prey, they could apply the same sense to hurricanes if they view the hurricanes as a predator which is preying on them. Moreover, for earthquakes however there were two theories discovered. The first being that the animals could detect the earth's vibration and the other being that they could detect changes in the gases released by the earth. Furthermore, there is no conclusive evidence as to how animals may be able to sense earthquakes.  

Works Cited:

1.      Bailey, R. (n.d.). Can animals sense natural disasters?. Retrieved from http://biology.about.com/od/animalbehavior/a/aa123104a.htm

18 Comments

I feel as though animals can definitely predict natural disasters. while they may not know what is coming, i feel like they definitely know something is coming and they take every precaution to be safe, i feel as though it is just instinct to them to take action. this articles talks about it a little more an explains it well. http://blogs.discovery.com/animal_oddities/2011/03/can-animals-sense-earthquakes-and-tsunamis.html I think that they can sense natural disasters because of the lack of deaths during them, they had to take some precautions, although there could be a 3rd variable causing this.

I feel as though animals can definitely predict natural disasters. while they may not know what is coming, i feel like they definitely know something is coming and they take every precaution to be safe, i feel as though it is just instinct to them to take action. this articles talks about it a little more an explains it well. http://blogs.discovery.com/animal_oddities/2011/03/can-animals-sense-earthquakes-and-tsunamis.html I think that they can sense natural disasters because of the lack of deaths during them, they had to take some precautions, although there could be a 3rd variable causing this.

I have always believed that animals were special. After reading this blog I am convinced even more. I did some more of my own research and came across an article that says the reason animals can sense disaster is because some are capable of hearing infrasound which is sounds produced by natural phenomena. Take a look at the article . It is really interesting!

I completely agree that animals can sense natural disasters. I have a cat and every time before a huge storm, she disappears. Also when there was a huge hurricane in my town, she was acting really weird and wouldn't go near anyone. So I definitely think that, that's a sign.

I had found another article that says some animals may be able to hear infrasound, sounds produced by natural phenomena, including earthquakes, volcanoes, and storms, that are inaudible to the human ear.
If you wanna know more feel free to read it! http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/can-animals-predict-disaster/introduction/130/

I feel as though animals can definitely predict natural disasters. while they may not know what is coming, i feel like they definitely know something is coming and they take every precaution to be safe, i feel as though it is just instinct to them to take action. this articles talks about it a little more an explains it well. http://blogs.discovery.com/animal_oddities/2011/03/can-animals-sense-earthquakes-and-tsunamis.html I think that they can sense natural disasters because of the lack of deaths during them, they had to take some precautions, although there could be a 3rd variable causing this.

The tension from the tectonic plates' movement have been known to alert dogs of pertaining disasters-earthquakes etc. I am still skeptical to how animals are able to predict hurricanes though. An understanding of the pressure changes may lead to possible causation.

sorry for the ridiculous amount of comments, my internet freaked out.

I agree, I definitely believe animals can sense natural disasters. Before a thunderstorm, my dog always starts whining and following us around the house, making it seem like she knows what's coming. According to PBS, some animals may actually be able to "'hear' infrasound--sounds produced by natural phenomena, including earthquakes, volcanoes, and storms, that are inaudible to the human ear." This allows the animals to react and find a safe place to stay during the disaster. I couldn't find anything on the timing, but I wonder how long it takes the animals to know about the coming disaster? In your blog post you said there were few animal deaths in Yala National Park from the tsunami, so the animals must have had enough time to flee. It would be interesting to know more about this!

Here is a Q&A with the guy in charge of surveying the damage in Sri Lanka and found no animal deaths. In short he explains that he believes the animals could hear the earth move on some different frequency that's out of human capability. I agree with his assessment because a massive shift of tectonic plates has to make a large amount of noise somewhere
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/can-animals-predict-disaster/eyewitness-accounts/ravi-corea/137/

I definitely believe that animals can sense a natural disaster before it actually occurs. Similar to Megan, my dogs always act a little bit off before a big thunderstorm. I always wondered how this was possible. These articles posted above truly show to me that animals do have an innate ability to sense danger before it happens. Humans are no different. We also have a weird feeling in our stomach when we sense danger.

I definitely believe that animals can sense a natural disaster before it actually occurs. Similar to Megan, my dogs always act a little bit off before a big thunderstorm. I always wondered how this was possible. These articles posted above truly show to me that animals do have an innate ability to sense danger before it happens. Humans are no different. We also have a weird feeling in our stomach when we sense danger.

I definitely believe that animals can sense a natural disaster before it actually occurs. Similar to Megan, my dogs always act a little bit off before a big thunderstorm. I always wondered how this was possible. These articles posted above truly show to me that animals do have an innate ability to sense danger before it happens. Humans are no different. We also have a weird feeling in our stomach when we sense danger.

This is like the old wives tale about cows laying down when it's going to rain. There's probably no truth to that saying, but I always wondered the same thing... can animals actually predict when it's going to rain, storm, etc.?

I like how your article looked at hurricanes. What about tornadoes or thunderstorms? I imagine that animals are less likely to be able to predict these things (if at all) because there aren't the vibrations associated with earthquakes.

This is like the old wives tale about cows laying down when it's going to rain. There's probably no truth to that saying, but I always wondered the same thing... can animals actually predict when it's going to rain, storm, etc.?

I like how your article looked at hurricanes. What about tornadoes or thunderstorms? I imagine that animals are less likely to be able to predict these things (if at all) because there aren't the vibrations associated with earthquakes.

This is like the old wives tale about cows laying down when it's going to rain. There's probably no truth to that saying, but I always wondered the same thing... can animals actually predict when it's going to rain, storm, etc.?

I like how your article looked at hurricanes. What about tornadoes or thunderstorms? I imagine that animals are less likely to be able to predict these things (if at all) because there aren't the vibrations associated with earthquakes.

When I read your blog I got a vision of all the animals running out of the forrest in several movie scenes. Although you say there is to evidence to why animals sense this, or no concluding evidence, I find this topic extremely interesting and it seems that researchers do too. Here's more about it.

For me, this is both fascinating and possibly helpful, as of now we can't predict natural disasters much in advance, could animals potentially help us with this? If they somehow could, thousands of lives would be saved.

This is like the old wives tale about cows laying down when it's going to rain. There's probably no truth to that saying, but I always wondered the same thing... can animals actually predict when it's going to rain, storm, etc.?

I like how your article looked at hurricanes. What about tornadoes or thunderstorms? I imagine that animals are less likely to be able to predict these things (if at all) because there aren't the vibrations associated with earthquakes.

A special on A&E from a few years ago put together home videos of the natural disaster in Indonesia. One of the most troubling scenes was a newly wed couple watching the ocean disappear and they stood there in awe and laughed about it. As the makers of the film point out, on the side of the screen the viewer can see animals literally running for their life while the rest of the people stand and stare. This was at first a theory, that animals could sense natural disasters, rain, and other things but it was a tough theory to prove. By now (somewhat unfortunately) we have seen enough death tolls in finding that the ratio of humans dead to animals dead is not even close. Although we have learned that nothing is truly 100% fact in this class, the idea that animals can sense shifts in tectonic plates and feel something brewing in the weather, is about as close to fact as anything else we are intent on calling an absolute fact.

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