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Mass Reports of Wild Animals Sensing Tsunami

1/11/2005
National Geographic

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0104_050104_tsunami_animals.html

"Wild animals survive by being always alert. That's what keeps them alive. Nature is very resilient. We shouldn't forget the fact that we are also part of nature."
Amongst the news reports of the recent Asian tsunami are numerous uncanny stories from across the region of animals who appear to have sensed the disaster before it happened. In Sri Lanka, for example, Yala National Park suffered numerous human casualties, but bizarrely "the wildlife suffered almost no casualties. The elephants, wild boar, deer, monkeys and others had moved inland to avoid the killer waves." Some survivors, for instance, have described how the monkeys refused to accept bananas shortly before the tsunami arrived:
"Bananas would be something normally that would make monkeys go bananas. These monkeys were totally disinterested, staring up in a confused mode as if they were reacting to something."
Another Sri Lankan survivor described how "his two Doberman Pinschers refused to go for their daily jog along the beach about 90 minutes before the tsunami." Over in Thailand, a dozen tourists were saved from the tsunami which struck Khao Lak when several agitated elephants broke their chains and fled for the hills. At least 3,800 other people would be killed when the tsunami arrived. Over in Phuket, a survivor described "seeing dogs running inland minutes before the tsunami struck." Over in India, the authorities "have reported that the indigenous, stone-age tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar islands escaped the effects of the tsunami because they heeded warning signals from birds and animals."


Some scientists have attempted to explain this phenomenon by hypothesizing that "elephants have the ability to detect low frequency sounds well below the range of human hearing. It is possible, they say, that they would 'hear' or 'feel' the vibration of a distant powerful earthquake." Others have extended this hypothesis. For instance, on 4 December 2004, Indian academic Arunachalam Kumar sent an e-mail to a conservation group predicting that "a major earthquake could occur very soon." As he explained:
It is my observation that mass suicides of whales and dolphins that occur sporadically all over the world are, in some way, related to change and disturbances in the electromagnetic field coordinates and possible re-alignments of geotectonic plates thereof.
Tracking the dates and plotting the locales of tremors and earthquakes, I am reasonably certain that major earthquakes usually follow within a week or two of mass breaching of cetaceans. I have noted with alarm the report last week of such mass deaths of marine mammals at an Australian beach. I will not be surprised if within a few days a massive quake hits some part of the globe.

But why would whales and dolphins be affected by earthquakes which have yet to occur? As Dr Kumar explained:
Whales and dolphins migrate thousands of miles along the geomagnetic wave, using it to align themselves. If they're beaching, it means their direction-finding capacity has gone wrong, perhaps due to seismic activity.