Animal’s Sixth Sense Aid In The Avoidance Of Natural Disasters?


On December 26, a magnitude 9 earthquake off the coast of northern Sumatra island generated a large tsunami. The massive waves surged over the Indian Ocean, killing almost 150,000 people in a dozen different countries.

Before the tsunami that slammed the Sri Lankan and Indian coastlines in December 2004, flamingos nesting at the Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary in India abandoned their low-lying breeding grounds and flew to higher ground.


Tsunami that slammed the Sri Lankan and Indian coastlines.

Despite humans making tremendous increments in technology, However, there is one thing they haven't been able to surpass, and that is Nature's superiority. Natural disasters have long been a part of life. Natural catastrophes are uncontrollable events over which humankind has no command. Humans design technology for warnings, but they are not always successful in providing flawless answers.

Animals have more evolved senses than humans, including hearing and the ability to detect changes in atmospheric pressure and moisture. There have been instances of animals acting strangely before catastrophic disasters throughout history and into the twenty-first century. Reports of hens not producing eggs, cows not delivering milk, or bees abandoning hives days, hours, or even minutes before storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, and, most recently, tsunamis have been seen among domestic animals.

The detection of natural disasters caused by tectonic plates (earthquakes) by animals has been studied in several nations. Animals may be able to sense earthquakes in two ways, according to two theories. Animals may perceive the earth's vibrations, according to one idea. They can also detect changes in the air or gases emitted by the earth. Animals may be able to sense earthquakes, but there is no conclusive evidence.

Before a major earthquake, the earliest evidence of anomalous animal behavior is from 373 BC in Greece. Several days before the devastating earthquake, rats, weasels, snakes, and centipedes reportedly fled their homes in search of safety. Anecdotal evidence abounds of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and insects behaving strangely in the weeks leading up to an earthquake. However, we have yet to discover consistent and dependable behavior prior to seismic occurrences, as well as a mechanism describing how it might work. The majority, but not all, of the scientists working on this puzzle are based in China or Japan.                                                                                                                                                                                                    United States Geological Survey | Animals and Earthquake Prediction

Tiger sharks and other shark species prefer rapid temperature fluctuations, which is where storms normally escalate. Shark tracking can aid in predicting where storms will form and develop.                                                                                                                                                                                       According to Neil Hammerschlag of the University of Miami's R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program


Tiger shark

Experts are divided on whether earthquakes can be predicted precisely. Animals, on the other hand, appear to be aware of approaching danger hours in advance. Wild animals, for example, have been reported to leave their sleeping and nesting areas soon before big earthquakes, and pets have gotten restless. However, because the description of suspicious activities is often vague and the observation period is too short, these anecdotal stories often do not hold up to scientific scrutiny.

Farm animals began to adjust their behavior up to 20 hours before an earthquake, according to the study. The researchers predicted a tremor with a magnitude greater than 4.0 whenever the recorded farm animals were collectively 50% higher alert for more than 45 minutes at a time. This method properly predicted seven out of eight big earthquakes.

In the United States, some golden-winged warblers were being observed and studied to learn more about their travel patterns. When the local weather appeared to be fine, the golden-winged warblers departed their nesting place after only a few weeks. Within a day or two, a tornado struck.Golden winged Warbler

According to some academics, these stories are due to "the psychological focusing effect," which occurs when people recall strange acts only after a disaster has occurred. They claim that if the incident hadn't occurred, individuals would have forgotten that their pet had acted strangely.

 "What we're dealing with is a lot of tales." "Animals react to so many factors — hunger, territorial defense, mating, predators — that it's difficult to do a controlled research to obtain that advanced warning signal."                                                                                                                                                      Andy Michael, a geophysicist of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), tells National Geographic.

The USGS conducted a few animal prediction experiments in the 1970s, but according to Michael, "nothing concrete came out of it." The agency has done nothing since then.

Animal early warning systems are not considered a feasible solution for disaster prediction by all specialists. Even if they do, animal movements alone are unlikely to be sufficient: people will need to rely on a variety of early warning signs to receive the entire picture.

While we may not yet be able to communicate with animals, it may be time to pay greater attention to their cautions. 

Articulated by - Palak Vijay 

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