General, Research, Technology

How do animals behave before an earthquake?

Every year on our planet are registeredmillions of earthquakes - tremors that sometimes lead to the destruction of buildings and deaths. To prevent disastrous consequences, scientists are trying to develop methods for predicting such disasters. Despite all efforts, an exact method for predicting earthquakes still does not exist. Sometimes scientists noticed that some animals like cows, dogs, rats and ants possess the ability to predict the onset of earthquakes. In some cases, a few days before the devastating disaster, these creatures began to behave very strange. It was clear to the researchers that they really felt something, but there was no scientific evidence of the reality of this phenomenon. But recently, scientists from the Society Mark Planck managed to prove this in the framework of a special scientific work.

Animals can predict earthquakes and this is scientifically proven

Mark Planck - German theoretical physicist who is considered the founder of quantum physics. Mark Planck Society, which brings together a number of research institutes throughout Germany, was founded in 1948.

Earthquake forecast

Current earthquake prediction technologyvery primitive. For about 100 years, humanity has been actively registering the frequency and strength of tremors in different parts of our planet. At the moment, scientists know that the inhabitants of China, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Mexico are most at risk of becoming victims of a strong earthquake. In these countries, tremors were most often observed, which means that earthquakes will recur from time to time. But when exactly they will happen and how destructive they will be, it’s hard to say - there are clearly not enough statistics for one hundred years to make any assumptions.

Map showing earthquakes that occurred from 1963 to 1998

In the whole history of mankind, due to earthquakesmillions of people died. One of the most devastating disasters occurred in 1923 - after the earthquake in the Kanto region of Japan, there were more than 174 thousand victims. This tragic event can be read in a special material from the author of Nikolay Khizhnyak, but let's look at the disasters, which ended more or less well. For example, one of the most terrible earthquakes occurred in 1973, in the territory of Chinese Haicheng. But then, the only time in history, a large number of victims were avoided - the authorities sensed something was amiss and evacuated people the day before the disaster.

See also: What is the difference between earthquakes, moonquakes and marquakes?

Hero animals

One small hint hinted at an imminent earthquakeshock, after which rats and snakes began to leave their burrows en masse. An unusual phenomenon of animals was noticed by people who decided to follow their example and also left the village. A day after the evacuation, a powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.3 occurred, during which hundreds of buildings were destroyed and 1328 people died. But if there had been no evacuation, there would have been several times more victims.

Consequences of the Xichang Earthquake

In addition to rats and snakes, several species of animals can sense the imminent occurrence of an earthquake:

  • ants they feel the impending catastrophe and leave their homes at any time of the day. Scientists learned about this in 2013, following the behavior of insects in Germany;
  • toads also leave ponds and other habitats fora few days before the earthquakes and move to safer places. In 2009, in the region of the Italian city of L’Aquila, a powerful earthquake occurred - amphibious creatures seemed to have sensed this and massively moved to a safe village;
  • birds, a few days before the disaster, go astrayheaps or throw into the water. In 2011, a powerful earthquake took the residents of the US East Coast by surprise - before this event, 64 flamingos from the local zoo gathered in one group.

In what way animals feel approachingdisaster, researchers are not yet clear. Perhaps they somehow feel the temperature drops in the bowels of the Earth, which provoke the movement of lithospheric plates located deep beneath us. It is believed that it is precisely because of their collisions that suicidal earthquakes occur. Maybe the electromagnetic waves of our planet are also involved in this matter, but this has not yet been proved.

Map showing all lithospheric plates of the Earth

Behavior of animals before the earthquake

So far, the reaction has remained unprovenanimals for impending disaster. But recently, scientists from the Max Planck Society's Animal Behavior Studies Institute conducted a study whose results were published in the scientific journal Ethology. They suggested that cows, sheep and dogs had a reaction to the imminent earthquake, so they provided them with sensors to monitor their behavior. From October 2016 to April 2017, more than 18 thousand tremors occurred in the Italian village of Caprilla, where the test animals lived.

Map showing earthquake areas in Italy from October 2016 to April 2017.

In the course of scientific work, the researchers noticed thatthe closer to the animals were the epicenters of earthquakes, the more noticeable they changed their behavior. Particularly strong changes were noticeable in groups of animals, while individual individuals did not take special methods to escape away from danger. Researchers were convinced that changes in behavior occurred only before destructive natural phenomena, so that the ability of animals to feel future disasters can be considered scientifically proven.

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How you can predictan earthquake is considered one of the tasks that scientists cannot solve even today. The author of Ilya Hel wrote about other problems of mankind at one time - I recommend reading this material right now.