Records from 373 B.C show that massive groups of rats, weasels, snakes, and other animals escaped Helice, Greece, just days before an earthquake destroyed the area. Similar stories have been recorded through time, with various animals fleeing various disasters. In 1975, Chinese officials evacuated Haicheng, based in part on strange animal behavior. A 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the city not long after, killing 2,041 people and injuring thousands of others.
From Then Until Now
In 2004, many animals fled the tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed more than 230,000 people. Animals acted strangely in the days leading up to the storm, and some questioned whether or not animals were able to sense the storm before humans and take suitable precautions.
In the Deep Blue
We’ve seen that pets often hide in a safe place when storms are coming. The same goes for sharks; they move into deeper water to find a safe place; sharks associate the falling of barometric pressures with storms. An example of this was Tropical Storm Gabrielle that made landfall in Florida’s Terra Ceia Bay in 2001 – more than a dozen tagged sharks swam into deeper waters before the storm hit. Moreover, when Hurricane Charley progressed in 2004, tracked sharks migrated to open water or disappeared out of range. The sharks’ actions seemed to coincide with the inconsistencies in air and water pressure. So, what do you say? Do you think that animals have a sixth sense for natural disasters?