Can Animals Predict Natural Disasters? Worst Natural Disasters in Human 2 days ago   03:24

BrainStuff - HowStuffWorks
Do animals have a sixth sense that can detect earthquakes and tsunamis? Or do they just make better use of their other senses than humans?

Learn more at

Share on Facebook:
Share on Twitter:
Visit our site:

Have you heard about how pets sometimes go missing just before an earthquake hits? Or how about in 2004, when a tsunami hit southeast Asia and killed more than 200,000 people... but almost no wild animals? Did you know that dogs, elephants, antelopes, bats and even flamingos fled the scene before the wave hit?

Many people assume it's because animals are more attuned to their environment than we are. Others, like the United States Geological Survey agency say there's no connection between animal behavior and natural disasters. But if there were, wouldn't it warrant a closer look?

Now the majority of researchers looking into this aren't claiming animals have a sixth sense or anything supernatural going on. What they think is that animals make greater use of their senses than we do. Using these, they react to environmental signals that we stupid humans don't even notice.

Most likely, animals can hear sounds that we can't, especially the infrasonic, low-pitched vibrations made by earthquakes, storms, volcanoes, avalanches and oceans. So with their greater spectrum of hearing, it makes sense that animals would perceive these before us as unsettling. If you heard a deep, rumbling sound coming at you from a wide angle, what would you do? Hang out making sandwiches? Or run for your life?

One study that supports this infrasonic hearing theory happened when Stanley Coren was studying whether dogs suffered from seasonal affective disorder. One day many of his 193 test dogs suddenly became agitated. Coren couldn't figure out what was going on until he noticed that a day later an earthquake struck nearby at a 6.8 on the richter scale.

Here's where it gets crazy. After reviewing the results, Coren found that 14 of the animals had hearing impairments and these were the dogs that didn’t become anxious before the earthquake.

Looking further he noticed that dogs with floppy ears were less likely to be agitated than those with perky, open ears. So it looks like the strength of their sense of hearing was what attuned the dogs to the earthquake's low tones.

Another theory is that through their sense of touch, animals can feel vibrations through the ground or sense shifts in air or water pressure. Hurricanes are known to decrease such pressures.

And scientists have observed that sharks change their behavior when storms cause pressure drops, swimming to deeper waters where they'll be protected. Birds and insects also seek cover when this happens.

Now that you’ve heard the theories, do you think we should make safety decisions based on the behavior of our local animals? China did in 1975, when they evacuated a city before an earthquake hit after its animals showed signs of high anxiety. It’s estimated they saved thousands of lives.


Kaplan M. Beastly powers. New Scientist [serial online]. February 17, 2007;193(2591):34. Available from: Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 10, 2014.

Comments 73 Comments

two weeks before a supertyphoon hit us two of my dogs died a week apart. i didnt think much of the first dog that looked like it 'committed suicide' by falling in an awkward position until the second also dropped dead suddenly (both dogs were healthy). Days before they looked so spooked and restless constantly looking at the door and a week after grieving from one death after another the supertyphoon hit. The night of the supertyphoon my other dog (i had 5 dogs) started barking after staying quiet for hours hiding. Around midnight just before the strong winds peeled off my wall (because it wasnt full wood or concrete) my dog started barking as if to say "take cover, take cover its gonna fly off" because we were holding the wall to keep it from being sucked off, by midnight we decided to let go off the wall and run under our metal bunk bed and took shelter from there as the eyewall of the storm passed over us (agonizingly too long because it lasted until morning). I truly believe animals can sense natural disasters
James Lee
Its not hearing its the tympanic function to have sensitivity to pressure.
I always get a weird feeling in my blood and chest when it's about to storm most the time I can predict when it's about to hell one time it felt so off I almost had a panic attack and before I knew it we got a tornado warning a few hours later does anyone else have this problem
jessica Garcia
Before Hurricane Harvey my cat and rabbit were alert and scared in the days before the storm hit Texas. They were not social and my rabbit would not come out of her cage. This was also the same week of the eclipse.
Catherine Wesley
Came across your channel. I breed Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers here in Southern Ontario Canada. I put my dogs out in the backyard around 5 a.m. Feb 1, 2019. The strangest thing was all 8 of them ran out and stopped and looked up and never moved for almost 2 to 3 minutes. I could not see anything. I've never seen all of them do this all at the same time. Weird.
My cat was acting really wierd, and then the Jets lost by 40 pts to the Bills. She knew
Egalitarian Ethos
My cat keeps ghosts away
Ab Bar
I lived in Mexico when a big earthquake happened my dog went crazy a few minutes before it happened.. crying and bidding....
flashdash jeff
IT helped me alot my teacher was proud of me and
i told her about this video thanks alot!!
byron yorks
A lil girl who detects earthquakes with her feet ; ]
Humanity was a mistake
I'm sure they do! I know I did when an ef3 tornado hit r town . I wasn't even that close to the area but I instantly and unexpectedly had intents pain in my guts to witch I instantly fell to my knees in pain.
Damn straight! If dogs and cats can use their senses to detect cancer (among other things), then its pretty obvious why they get uncomfortable in bad weather (or worse weather).
Bhupender Kumar
> Sir I told you know 1 to 4.9 M T for65 hours and 5 to 8 M Tand 9 to 2.5hours time coming earthquake are big earthquake coming 2.5 hours and small 65 hours before come sir boomerang sanser's use in earthquake elctronik warning system please sir I help you make a system. Catch the before earthquake E M F
Music Monster
If my weatherman has gone loco in the coco when he is telling about a hurricane, does that mean hes... A animal???
Uni40rce InGoodorder
This convinced me that earth is not our birth home.Maybe we came from other planet and forgot.
My cat woke me up as the loudest sound i ever heard sounded right outside my window. nobody in the house or neighborhood heard a thing. we were scared for our lives. i just cant explain that.
all the dogs in my area barked and ran before a 5,3 hit In my city and same for a 3 that just hit
Roman Santana
yes, right now. I heard many dogs barking and suddenly a small earthquake hit the city.
Lol Lol
my were animals behaving crazy then I noticed they were senseing somthing far far away after a caouple of days i found out that they were senseing your MAMA!

Donald King
A deep rumbling sound coming from a wide angle wouldn't necessarily indicate which direction to flee in, or how far away to travel in order to achieve safety. It's not perceptive -- it's something different...
Add Reply

Worst Natural Disasters in Human Can Animals Predict Natural Disasters? 2 days ago   08:59

What are the worst disasters that ever happened!?!
Our planet is a living planet, and the only known celestial body to have both a fully functioning climate system and active plate tectonics. But all that moving and shaking makes the Earth a potentially dangerous place to call home, and natural disasters are an unfortunate but inevitable part of life for any species that calls our blue marble home.
Evolving about 100,000 years ago, modern man has barely been around for but a blink of an eye of the earth's history, and while we've been spared some of the greatest catastrophes to ever rock the planet, we've faced our share of natural disasters.
Hello and welcome to another episode of The Infographics Show- today we're taking a look a the worst natural disasters in human history.





Sources for this episode: