Many have dogs that tell us if there is someone at the door by barking excessively even before the doorbell rings. Many animals have exceptional olfactory senses and have saved families when smelling a fire. With all the “special powers” animals seem to have, could earthquake prediction be one of them? One source says “yes”. Most researchers agree that animals do have the ability to detect when something in the environment is not right. With this said, they can feel the foreshocks taking place before the earthquake actually occurs and engage in abnormal behavior to assist owners in realizing an event. However, many researchers fear this behavior is only recognized after the occurrence and would not have been called to attention if there were no such hazard.
In 373 B.C., historians noted rats, snakes, and weasels vacated the city of Helice before a destructive earthquake. Early research also shows eccentric behavior in fish, bees, and chickens before an earthquake. More recently, a series of earthquakes occurring in the Baja Peninsula and in Northridge, California in 1994 was seen to be felt by animals. One woman reported that her dog was “not being himself” and she was considering taking him to the vet or not. Research shows that in many cases, animals act different before an earthquake including dogs barking all night, cats hiding in their houses, and restless caged birds.
With all the trouble of predicting earthquakes and the numerous amounts of time and effort going into this, our animals could quite possibly help give us more time in preparing for an earthquake. Every second helps, and animals could too be something more than just our loving pets.