For centuries, there has been speculation as to whether or not animals have the ability to sense earthquakes. The suspicion was originally based on superstition but over time there has been enough evidence to make some in the scientific community wonder.
We can look far back in history and see evidence of animals behaving rather strangely prior to an earthquake or other natural disaster. For instance, in 373 BC, many forms of animals including rats and snakes vacated the Greek city of Helice in a weird sort of migration. A few days later, an earthquake hit, destroying much of the city.
Fast forward a few thousand years; in 1975, Haicheng, China was evacuated by the Chinese government. The cause? Many pets and other animals were behaving erratically on a large scale. While this might seem like a silly reason to evacuate an entire city of slightly over one million people, it should also be noted that a 7.5 magnitude quake rocked the city a few days later. Many see this as one of the few successful predictions of an earthquake... and the only tools used were animals.
Of course, there are many scientists that remain skeptical. Giving such a peculiar train of thought serious attention is often frowned upon in scientific communities. Still, there are many that hold firmly to the suspicion that your household pet may be able to sense an earthquake. In 2003, a Japanese scientist released a study indicating that certain behaviors in dogs, such as excessive barking and uncharacteristic biting, could be a good indicator that an earthquake is on the way.
The community that does give credence to this thought chalk up this ability to a dog's amazing hearing ability. It could be possible that dogs are able to sense earthquakes by hearing seismic activity like the movement and scraping of large rocks under the ground.
What do you think? Have you had this experience? Please share in the comments below.