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noelasun's avatar

Have you observed instances where animals display foreknowledge of natural disasters?

Asked by noelasun (1894points) May 18th, 2009

I was at a picnic yesterday and saw very erratic behavior from ants. (ants swarming out on the ground, biting people, ect.) and wondered if there was going to be an earthquake.
There was an earthquake, several hours later.
I have since moving to CA observed an “ant freak-out” before earth quake activity. (I’m unsure of a scientific connection. But there is for me a very definite observed connection.)
Have any flutherites had similar experiences? other animals, different natural occurrences, etc

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12 Answers

Judi's avatar

very cool. I never noticed that.

MrItty's avatar

Our old dog categorically refused to come out of his dog house the morning a hurricane was expected to hit us. We had to go outside and physically pick him up (he wasn’t a small dog) and carry him from the dog house to our house’s basement. He knew something was up, without a doubt.

basp's avatar

I have seen birds display odd behaviors before an earthquake too.
As a side note: my husband used to teach the mentally challenged and they had an uncanny ability to predict earthquakes too. Some would verbalize it and others would just demonstrate odd behavior.

Allie's avatar

A lot of animals can sense natural hazards. A farmer about a year ago submitted an article to the California Aggie (I think) that before a tiny earthquake occured his cattle all crowded into one corner of his land. He submitted a photo, they were literally packed together. With all that room it was odd to see them so huddled.

P.S. – My cat demonstrated odd behavior daily. Maybe she senses the end of the world?

crisw's avatar

One thing to remember here is that nothing supernatural is involved. Many animals have keener senses than we do. In the case of earthquakes, for example, many animals (and I’d bet ants are one of them) are much more sensitive to vibration than we are, and sense the vibrations of the small quakes and earth shifts that lead up to a larger quake. Dogs can hear sounds from storms and such long before we do, and many animals can sense the changes in barometric pressure that precede a storm.

casheroo's avatar

My cat knew I was pregnant before I did. Not exactly a “natural disaster” per se. lol

Judi's avatar

@casheroo ; how did you know she knew?

casheroo's avatar

@Judi He is not a very affectionate cat, but he began laying in bed with me with his paw over my belly. He did this for a week and then I tested for pregnancy because my period was late. Turns out I was indeed pregnant. My cat became very protective of me, which he had never done before. To this day he is very protective of my son.

Buttonstc's avatar

Casheroo: What a wonderful contrast to that old wives tale superstition about cats smothering babies which still results in cats being deposited ( and most likely euthanized) in shelters even in this day and age.

Regarding the question at hand, I still remember vividly the reports following the tsunami years ago of folks whose lives were saved because of this.

There were some tourists who were taking elephant rides and were initially alarmed when inexplicably they all took off running and headed for higher ground completely disregarding the passengers or their mahoots attempts to control them. Obviously that saved all of their lives.

It was also observed by some reporters on the scene in succeeding days that among all of the dead human bodies all around there was a noticeable absence of any cats, dogs, etc. as one would normally expect as they all instinctively headed for higher ground.

In addition to being much more sensitive to vibrations from earthquakes and such, animals can also sense the changes in barometric pressure which accompany many adverse weather effects.

YARNLADY's avatar

Animals have exhibited sensitivity to many daily occurrences, due to their heightened ability of smell and hearing. Yes, they can often feel earthquakes, and apparently ‘smell’ body changes, such as cancer and pending aneurysms.

prasad's avatar

I’ve heard when tsunami hit east coast of India a couple of years ago, then dogs, cats ran out of their places an hour before.

Yeah, I know dogs start barking or they just ran out when an earthquake is going to come.

@YARNLADY I agree. I’ve seen it on discovery channel on TV. The dog allerted his owner/keeper (heart attack patient) half hour before he got the heart attack. He went to the hospital in time, and fortunately doctors helped him out. I think animals have got something more than their senses of smell, hearing or sight; they’ve got the sixth sense.

crisw's avatar


As I mentioned above, it isn’t a “sixth sense” or anything supernatural- it’s just senses that are much keener than our own.

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