Last updated Jan. 25 2020 | 3 min read
Dogs and Earthquakes: Can Dogs Predict Earthquakes And Volcanic Eruptions?
For many decades now, ongoing research by geophysicists and geologists have been in the works to determine exactly when and where the next big earthquake will occur. But up until now, there is still no accurate method of predicting earthquakes.
However, these scientists have noticed a very unusual occurrence just hours prior to the onset of an earthquake. Strange behavior in certain animals, particularly dogs, cats, horses, and fowl, can be observed a few hours and even minutes before a quake or an eruption of a volcano. Somehow, they know what is coming!
Evidence Of This Phenomena
The belief that dogs, cats, and other animals can foretell quakes has been around for hundreds of years. One of the earliest recorded facts was in 373 B.C., when snakes, rats, and weasels left Greek city just a few days before an earthquake destroyed the entire area.
Records of similar forecasts of quakes have been reported from all over the world. These reports have concluded that dogs and other animals can predict earthquakes as well as other earth disturbances in a way in which human beings are unable to detect.
It was reported that in April of 1906, dogs howled and barked erratically the night prior to the big earthquake that hit the city of San Francisco. Horses were also reported to stampede and snort wildly a few minutes before the shaking started.
Prior to the 1965 volcanic eruption that struck the city of Taal in the Philippines, the people of the city were awakened by the scary noise of frightened dogs and cats. A few people paid attention to the warning of the animals and deserted the area before ashes and lava enveloped the land.
On February 26, 1966, on the island of Hawaii, dogs started to behave erratically for no apparent reason. They howled, ran around restlessly, and dug holes in the ground. The next day after the incident, geologists spent much of the day examining the ground but failed to detect any cracks or smell of volcanic gases when they studied the holes that the dogs made. And yet, an eruption started the next morning.
Many dogs and cats sensed the Great Hanshin Earthquake in the city of Kobe in Japan. This disaster, which happened on January 17, 1995, destroyed the city and killed over 6,000 people. Moments before the quake started, dogs were behaving erratically and created such commotion that their owners had to take the animals outside the house, which prevented them from being trapped indoors when the earthquake hit.
Much evidence has proven that certain animals, especially dogs, can predict earthquakes, as well as volcanic eruptions, just hours before they occur. Nobody knows exactly how they detect natural disasters beforehand, but hundreds of reports have indicated that they are certainly aware of the upcoming disaster.
Countless dog owners whom experienced earthquakes have been documented as having observed their pets behaving erratically before the ground started shaking. The dogs were whining and barking incessantly for no apparent reason. They were also displaying signs of restlessness and nervousness.
Theories To Explain The Earth/Dog Connection
Many believe that earth’s movements in some way stimulate the dog’s turmoil. As to how dogs, cats, and other animals are able to forecast earthquakes and volcanic eruptions before modern technology is able to is a complete mystery. Science has yet to uncover the reason why these animals are able to sense forthcoming earthquakes, but there are a number of theories.
One theory suggests that wild and domestic animals are able to feel vibrations on Earth before humans do. Another theory proposes that certain animals, such as dogs, are able to detect certain electrical changes in the gases and air emitted from the Earth. Charles Richter, inventor of the Richter scale (a device for measuring the severity of earthquakes) believes that many animals notice small foreshocks to which humans are insensitive.
Other theories propose that changes in air pressure occur before a quake. Changes also occur in the magnetic field in the site, or high-frequency sounds are omitted which are indistinct to humans during the preliminary disturbance.
Unproven Or Not, Many People Are Looking To Dogs & Other Animals For Warning Signs
Whether these theories are true or not, many nations have been using animals in detecting natural disasters to save lives and properties. In China, volunteers are recruited to observe behaviors of dogs and other animals in the government’s earthquake prediction program that also involves modern electronic equipment.
In the villages on Mt. Etna (the largest volcano in Europe), people leave their houses when their dogs and cats suddenly become restless and dash out. The people of Caracas own cats, dogs, and even boas that they believe warn them of impending dangers.
Many animals such as dogs and cats have extremely acute sense organs, much more so than humans. Animals may also have senses of which humans are unaware of. Some people believe that, in the past, humans may have had these extra senses but lost them through evolution.