In the aftermath of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in Turkey and Syria, videos of dozens of birds purportedly fluttering in the sky over affected areas hours before the quake struck social media.
In this sense, although it could not be confirmed whether the images corresponded to moments before the earthquake, many wondered whether animals, especially birds, they can predict such disasters,
According to a report in The Washington Post on the matter, there would be scientific evidence that supports the theory that some animals behave strangely before vibrations, Let’s see what two sources say.
talk of the waves
For him United States Geological SurveyIt’s about seismic wave perception. For that you need to know that, when it comes to earthquakes, there are primary (P) and secondary (S) waves.
As Post collects, the animals’ unusual behavior before shivering may have to do with the difference between the two types of waves.
The explanation is that P waves, which are first emitted by an earthquake, travel miles per second from the epicenter and can be as noticeable to animals as S waves, which are stronger and shake the ground dangerously. Yes, in this case humans too.
Birds fly above the destroyed minaret of a mosque in the northern town of Ariha, on the outskirts of Idlib, Syria, Sunday, June 10, 2012. pictorial pic.ap
“Very few people notice the smaller P wave that travels faster from the earthquake source and arrives before the larger S wave. But many animals with more acute senses can feel the P wave seconds before the S wave arrives, said a guide to US media from the service.
animal vs human
Another source can be taken from a study prepared by the director of the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behaviour, Martin Wikelsky,
For Wikelsky, animals can feel an earthquake even before it occurs. “We have a very good indication that the animals are indeed sensing precursors of earthquakes, and it is not seismic activity,” the researcher told the Post.
A photo taken on January 12, 2022 shows migratory birds in a tree on a lake in front of one of late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s palaces near Baghdad airport. Example photo AFP
In a 2020 study, researchers attached electronic tags (like small mobile phones) to cows, dogs and sheep on an Italian farm and watched their movement for months when earthquakes were detected nearby.
In doing so they found that the animals were generally “hyperactive” and moved continuously for more than 45 minutes before seven or eight earthquakes occurred in the vicinity.
The study’s results, then, suggested that animals could detect earthquakes up to 12 hours before humans and potentially before any earthquakes.