Earthquake prediction based on animal behaviour

b1da666675028d84Since 1970 Liaoning Province was considered by researchers as a high earthquake-prone area. In mid-January, 1975 population from the town of Heicheng (in the Liaoning Province) received from the authorities the warning of a earthquake and when the earthquake struck (February 4, 1975) with a magnitude of 7.3, the people of Haicheng already had left the city. The warning saved many lives and avoided a disaster of major proportions. Four other disastrous earthquakes were predicted by Chinese scientists during the 1975/76 period.
Observations and research on unusual animal behavior can be used, combined with other methods, as a way of predicting considerable earthquakes. Bellow are presented examples of observed unusual animal behavior before major earthquakes occurred.

Unusual Animal Behavior
In 1920, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.5 occurred in Haiyuan County, Ninghxia Province, China. Eyewitnesses stated that prior to this earthquake, wolves were seen running around in packs, dogs were barking unusually, and sparrows were flying around wildly.
Prior to the 6.8 magnitude earthquake in 1966 in Hsingtai County, Hopei Province, in Northern China, all the dogs at a village near the epicenter had deserted their kennels and thus survived the disaster.
Prior to the earthquake of July 18, 1969, (magnitude 7.4) in the Pohai Sea, unusual behavior was observed in seagulls, sharks, and five different species of fish.
A warning was issued at the Tientsin People’s Park Zoo, two hours before the earthquake struck, based on observations of unusual behavior of giant pandas, deer, yaks, loaches, tigers and other animals.
A very unusual animal behavior was that of snakes that came out of hibernation and froze on the surface of the earth. Also a group of rats appeared. These events were succeeded by a swarm of earthquakes at the end of December 1974. During the following month, in January 1975, thousands of reports of unusual animal behavior were received. Local people saw hibernating snakes coming out from their holes and into the snow. In the first three days in February the activity intensified even more and unusual behavior of the larger animals such as cows, horses, dogs and pigs was reported. On February 4, 1975, an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck the Haicheng County, Liaoning Province.
A stock breeder in northern China, feeding his animals before dawn on July 28, 1976, in the area of the Kaokechuang People’s Commune, approximately 40 kilometers away from the city of Tangshan, said that his horses and mules instead of eating were jumping and kicking until they finally broke loose and ran outside. Seconds later, a white flash illuminated the sky and tremendous rumbling noises were heard as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Tangshan area.
Unusual animal behavior included goats refusing to go into shelters; cats and dogs picking up their offspring and carrying them outdoors; pigs squealing strangely; chickens dashing out of the coops in the middle of the night; fish dashing about aimlessly; and birds leaving their nests. Zoo animals refused to go back into their shelters at night; snakes, lizards and small mammals left their underground nests; insects were seen in huge swarms near the seashores; cattle sought higher ground; domestic animals became agitated; wild birds left their usual habitats.
The largest number of cases of unusual animal behavior precede the earthquake in the 24 hours before it strikes, but unusual behavior in rats, fish, and snakes were observed as early as three days prior to the earthquake and continuing to several hours, or even a few minutes before.
A team of Chinese scientists including biologists, geophysicists, chemists, meteorologists, and biophysicists conducted a survey in the Tangshan area and in 400 communes in 48 counties around it after the 1976 earthquake. They visited a number of places that were hit by other destructive earthquakes and, through interviews and discussions with local people, collected information on over 2,000 cases of unusual animal behavior occurring prior to an earthquake. The majority of the reports involved domestic animals. Based on this survey a preliminary report was prepared by the Chinese identifying 58 kinds of domestic and wild animals that had demonstrated unusual behavior.
The principal focus of research work in China has been on the behavior of pigeons. Biological studies on pigeons determined that a hundred tiny units exist between the tibia and fibula on a pigeon’s leg. These nerve units are connected to the nerve center, and are very sensitive to vibrations. Scientists determined that prior to an earthquake of magnitude 4.0, which occurred in the area of the study, fifty pigeons that had severed connections between the tibia, fibula, and the nerve centers, remained calm before the earthquake, while those with normal connections became startled and flew away.
Because of the success in monitoring unusual animal behavior for the prediction of certain earthquakes, the Chinese, who have pioneered this work, have looked into ways to construct instruments that would duplicate the sensory organs of animals which were able to monitor, and sense, stimuli preceding an earthquake. Electromagnetic changes in the earth prior to an earthquake may be sensed by such animals as sharks and catfish which have low or high frequency receptors and sense such changes actively or passively. Also such electromagnetic field changes could be affecting migrating birds and the navigational ability of fish.

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