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Can Animals Predict Earthquakes? New Study Suggests They May

12 Apr 2015, 2:26 pm

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They are one of the scariest and most unpredictable forces in Mother Nature’s extensive arsenal. Earthquakes have long been one of nature’s greatest mysteries, but there is evidence that animals may be able to sense their arrival, according to a recent study.

A new study published by Physics and Chemistry of the Earth theorizes that animal activity significantly decreases in the weeks leading up to to an earthquake, perhaps indicating certain animals’ ability to sense the arrival of major tremors.

Before a 7.0 earthquake in northeastern Peru in 2011, motion-activated sensors were placed in the Amazon region of Peru, where cameras would typically record between five and 15 daily animal motions. But in the 23 days leading up to the earthquake, five or fewer animal motions were recorded. More so, for five of the seven days leading up to the quake, no animal movements were recorded, highly unusual for the dense forests of eastern Peru.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Rachel Grant, told CNN that one of the reasons for the animals’ ability to sense earthquakes could be tied to the increase of positive ions in the air leading up to tremors.

The study advocates motion-activated cameras as an affordable option for developing, earthquake-prone countries to gauge the potential arrival of earthquakes.

Read more about this fascinating and potentially ground-breaking study here.

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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