Animals and earthquakes

By Susan Aielo • Published: March 4th, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Can animals sense impending earthquakes? As early as 373 BC, Greek historians recorded mass migration of snakes, rats and weasels before a major earthquake. Since then, everything from dogs, cats, chickens, carp and even bees have been thought to sense an imminent quake.

The scientific evidence is inconclusive, and exactly what animals sense, if anything, is a mystery. In 2003, a Japanese study reported that erratic behaviors in dogs, such as excessive barking, could help predict earthquakes. Earlier, Chinese officials saved the lives of over 100,000 people by forecasting a quake based partly on the strange antics of animals.

Do animals sense vibrations in the ground, electric charges in the air or some other phenomenon? However they do it, animals seem to have a sixth sense about the rumblings of the earth.