Can animals be used as earthquake barometer, or it is just a plain myth? Centuries ago, in the absence of sophisticated equipment to gauge imminent earthquakes, China has been using animals to predict earthquakes.
In 1975, after sensing the movements of animals strangely, Chinese officials ordered families to evacuate Haicheng city a few days before the killer earthquake struck the city with a 7.3 magnitude.
If the Chinese did not believe on the ability of animals as earthquake sensors, there should have been no evacuation done and victims could have been numerous. They traced the prediction from restless movements of dogs and howling even during daytime. Even birds were restless and cats were hiding, just days before the violent earthquake.
Historians revealed that animals such as rats, snakes, and weasels abandoned the Greek City of Helice in large groups within 2-3 days prior to a violent earthquake that devastated the city.
Many stories of the same nature have come out from foreign lands. Chickens were restless and wandered around even at night. Bees could be seen flying in groups as if trying to escape something violent that will occur. Cats and dogs became very restless and howled even during daytime without any reason.
But no one could say the reasons why it was happening and many people said it was rather mysterious and unbelievable than taking it as a prediction.
A theory came out that animals possess stronger sensory perception of underground vibration than human beings. Other theories attributed the actions of animals to a strong vibration from objects or chemicals coming from underground.
It is amazing to know that even today, seismologists cannot detect in advance the coming of earthquakes and where they would exactly occur. Destructive earthquakes have been detected each year around the world; some were sensed by humans and some of them caused tremendous damage to humans and properties.
Japan, being an earthquake-prone country has had numerous devastating earthquakes which took a great toll in human beings and properties.
Japanese scientists have been carefully studying the reactions of animals in the hope of finding a clue as to why these animals display a strange behavior days before an earthquake will occur.
However, American seismologists doubt the truth of attributing the prediction to animals. To-date, even in the presence of documented films and stories about this phenomenon, American scientists dismiss the idea as plain myth. Scientists disagree that there is any relationship between the occurrence of earthquakes and animal behaviors even now.
Scientists argue that animals tend to react to so many things. When they are hungry, defending their territories and their mating process make them react. Therefore, they conclude that there is no scientific proof that animals can sense earthquakes.
Researchers in the world continuously try to uncover the secrets of animal behavior on earthquakes.
However, American geologists do not believe in this idea and argue that it’s just a psychological effect where people tend to remember facts and events only when they occur. If they did not happen, they will not remember anything.