Monday, May 19, 2008

Can Animals Predict Earthquakes?





(Above: What were the toads trying to tell us?)

Last week, thousands of toads inexplicably appeared in the streets of Mianzhu, China. Hundreds of miles away, zebras began banging their heads against the doors of their zoo cages and normally docile pandas stomped around in their pens. Crazed elephants swung their trunks at their keepers while the screeches of peacocks shattered visitors' eardrums.

Then, on the afternoon of May 12, an earthquake struck. It leveled schools, destroyed countless other buildings, and left thousands upon thousands of people dead or homeless. Now the question that everyone wants answered is: Did the animals know?

For centuries, people have witnessed strange animal behavior in the hours before earthquakes. But to this day, no one has figured out why animals seem to be able to predict the disasters. Do they feel rumblings that we can't? Can they detect changes in electrical fields or sniff gases being released from the earth? Perhaps they hear sounds that human ears don't register.

Whatever the reason, scientists would love to be able to harness the animals' predictive powers. Both China and Japan have tried in the past, and they've experienced many successes--and many false alarms. But I'll tell you this: If I ever spot a thousand toads crossing Fifth Avenue, I'm getting the heck out of New York.


Read more here, here, and here.

(Below: Pandas--because they're cute.)


25 Comments:

Anonymous Kurosignal said...

SCARY!!! I've been watching animal behaviors because of something about this I read when I was smaller. >.<

I like the picture with all the toads...

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Girlskickbutt!!! said...

It makes since. Animals aren't focused on petty matters as we humans are. They are built for survival and pay more attention to their surroundings than we do. Also smaller animals are more likely to notice small tremors or changes as they are more perceptible to movement. Also we wear layers of protection against the enviorment and build structures that animals don't.

Sorry this is really long and complicated,I just find this topic so interesting and undiscovered.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

Oh yeah, I read an article about superstitious Chinese bloggers complaining about how the government is wasting money on scientists when all they have to do is "breed toads." xD But scientists have been saying that it's the normal migration time (or whatever) for toads.

By the way, why don't any of the Irregulars have siblings or pets? I mean, Luz has sisters but they don't come into the story much...or will they? Didn't you have two crazy siblings? Haha.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've also heard that animals can predict tsunamis. If other living things get these super powers, why can't humans???

~Skyla

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Kiel said...

its kinda odd that only behavior like this has been noticed in China and Japan, or has it been noticed everywhere???

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well skyla, its probably because we humans are so up ourselves that we have replaced all our instincts and potential 'super powers' with bits of technology to do the job for us (we're so lazyyy). with these bits of metal doing everything for us,we dont need wickid super instincts, and so with the theory of evolution, our powers phase out, blah blah blah.

and dangit, because how cool would it be to have superpowers, even something lke detecting tsunamis. totally awesome!

:)
M

4:18 AM  
Blogger Random Irregular said...

animals can see jinns.
i have a sibling, well actually, i have three, if you include my two deliciously cute chickens. they are too cute! I love chickens, just like Howard van Dyke.

4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont mean to rush anybody... but where is Iris? I thought she'd be on the site earlier. Ah well. Im sure your working on it...

-Anonymous (yeah I know)

6:20 AM  
Blogger International Mastermind said...

Hmm. The thing is, maybe we CAN, anonymous! Maybe humans have just been to ignorant to realize that the whole, 'My bones tell me there will be RAIN', is more than a wierd saying. Who knows?

Were there toads at Myanmar?

6:34 AM  
Blogger Invisible Turtle said...

Oh my gosh, pandas ARE cute. They're my favorite animals, and to this day I don't know why I'm not Invisible Panda.

On the subject of earthquakes: Whenever my dog goes crazy I get paranoid. Is the wind stronger than normal? Is that THUNDER in the distance?

6:51 AM  
Anonymous nellie said...

Toads!!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City said...

Jin Ai: Yeah, I guess there's some controversy about the toads. Some say they were migrating, some say the government is lying. Who knows.

As for siblings or pets, after many harrowing childhood experiences, I figured it was best to leave such things out of my books. ha.

Kiel: No, it's not just in Asia. I've heard lots of stories about dogs and cats "predicting" earthquakes in California, too.

Anonymous: Iris. Must get on that pronto.

IM: I haven't seen any info about Myanmar. But I did read lots of articles a few years back about animals fleeing for the hills in the minutes/hours before the tsunami hit Thailand.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous sekrit7 said...

I read about that awhile ago, there had been a lot more proof then just the China Earthquake. And I agree with girlskickbutt!!! Anaka, where did you find that pic! It's so interesting!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Kitty said...

That's what my mom told me after the huge earthquake that just happened in China. "Remember: If any animals start acting crazy, start packing." And I also remember that you said somewhere in Empress's Tomb about this.

2:30 PM  
Blogger sakura said...

I think animals can predict the weather but I'm not sure mine can- she went outside while the tornados alarm thingies were sounding(?)

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Raph said...

This may sound crazy, but birds' songs always seem to sound different before a thunderstorm hits...
Coincidence?

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

We were studying sound recently in science, and my teacher was talking about this sort of thing. She thinks that the earth emits infrasonic noises the only animals can hear.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raph there is no such thing as coincidences.

8:44 PM  
Blogger sakura said...

the only thing there is, is hitsuzen!
XD

10:32 PM  
Anonymous E-star said...

I have heard that the same thing happend before the tsunami. The animals probably have some sort of second sight!!

8:11 AM  
Blogger CPanda said...

Ananka... are the pandas OK? I hope so... you can tell I like pandas by my username.

And, here's news for you.
My friend, Callie got the Kiki Strike Book and she said she loved it!!

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

I read something about this coal miner guy: he was throwing bits of coal at a rat just to annoy it, and his dad made him stop because it's mean and sometimes animals know things people don't, and then the rat grabbed all her babies and ran out of that part of the mine, so the guy and his dad scrammed too, and like ten seconds later the whole cave they'd been in fell in!!!

But people CAN do things like that too: there was this girl who'd been studying tsunamis in school, and she saw all these tsunami-is-coming signs and told the life guard who made everybody get off the beach, and like five minutes later this monster wave came and swept away all the beach umbrellas, but nobody was hurt.

Sorry for the long post which I think was three loooooong sentences including this one!

6:45 AM  
Blogger CPanda said...

I mean, did they make it in the earthquake in China??

9:13 AM  
Anonymous ss chick said...

of course they know! it's animal insticnt. how do you spell that? but when a tornado almost (well it kinda did)hit my town, (i was out of town on a school trip) my mom said my cat was all freakin out beforehand.

of course they know!

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

About the tsunamis, Hazel-- Not to sound like a know-it-all (which happens to me a lot), but it's really not that difficult to tell when a tsunami is coming in. If the water withdraws from the beach rapidly, like the tide is going out way too quickly, then you should leave. Immediately. And get to higher ground.

6:11 PM  

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