Early history tells that animals can sense earthquakes and this has been discovered centuries ago. Historians revealed that animals such as rats, snakes, and weasels abandoned the Greek City of Helice in large groups for 2-3 days prior to a devastating earthquake.
This was followed by stories of the same nature in other foreign lands for centuries. It was observed that catfish was moving restlessly, chickens stopped laying eggs and bees left their hives showing extreme panic that something violent will occur. A lot of pet owners have noticed that their cats and dogs were very restless and continuously making noises without transparent reasons.
However, no one could tell exactly what was happening. No one could tell precisely that the animals acted in a strange way because of an incoming ground tremor. In fact, some people said it was more of mystery rather than prediction.
One theory that surfaced is that wild animals can sense underground vibration than human beings. Other concepts attributed the actions of animals to an electrical reaction in the wind or gas coming from the ground. Earthquakes are still under question even today.
Even seismologists have no means of detecting in advance the date or place of coming earthquakes and where they would exactly occur. Approximately 500,000 earthquakes were detected each year around the world; 100,000 sensed by humans and many of them caused tremendous damage to properties.
Japan is frequently experiencing earthquake as an earthquake-prone country and devastation took its great toll in human beings and properties. Scientists in Japan have long been trying to discover the method of predicting earthquakes.
They have carefully studied the reactions of animals in the hope of finding a clue as why these animals display a strange behavior days before an earthquake will occur.
On the other hand, American seismologists doubt the veracity of attributing the prediction to animals. Even if there are a lot of documented films and stories about this phenomenon, American scientists dismiss the idea as plain myth. Researchers said that the relation between the occurrence of earthquake and animal behavior has not been established to-date.
They argue that animals react to so many things like when they get hungry, in defense of their territories, mating process and predators. So there is no valid proof that indeed animals can predict earthquakes.
However, researchers around the world do not stop discovering the truth. In the year 1975, after sensing the movements of animals strangely, Chinese officials ordered families to evacuate Haicheng city a few days before the killer earthquake struck the city with a 7.3 magnitude.
If no people were evacuated ahead of the killer earthquake during those days, the victims could have exceeded 150,000. They traced the prediction from continuous howling of dogs in the night, restless birds in cages and cats hiding, just days before the big disaster.
In spite of this, however, geologists do not agree to this concept and state that it’s just a sort of psychological effect where people tend to remember facts and events only when they recur. If it did not occur, people will totally forget the past events.