Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Profound knowledge of animal instincts to help humans predict horrible natural disasters

People paid attention to animal's ability to react to imminent natural dangers in ancient times already

Outstanding Russian scientists Vladimir Vernadsky proved in the middle of the past century that man's impact on the natural world of the planet had taken the scale of a geological disaster. A recent series of underwater earthquakes and the mammoth tsunami in December of 2004 showed human beings their place. “The king of the world” turned out to be helpless and defenseless against the storming nature. Furthermore, people were unable even to predict it, at least several hours in advance.

Scientists noticed, though, that the tsunami disaster of 2004 killed very few animals, whereas the number of human victims was immense – over 300,000 people. There are a lot of hypotheses to explain such a mysterious phenomenon, but people paid attention to animal's ability to react to imminent natural dangesr in ancient times already.

The first incident was documented in the year 2000 A.C. The ancient manuscript says that people noticed that weasels suddenly disappeared from their usual habitats in Crete shortly before a very powerful earthquake rocked the island.

Snakes suddenly appeared on the surface of the ground in the winter of 1975 in China. Snakes are cold-blooded animals; they hide in shelters and become dormant for winter periods. Local authorities treated such a “violation of biological norms” seriously and evacuated the residents. As it turned out later, the snakes forecast a mammoth earthquake, which was measured 7.3 on Richter scale. The history of the 20th century proves that animals possess a remarkable ability to foresee not only earthquakes, but tsunamis as well. There were incidents, when animals abandoned valleys prior to avalanching; London residents paid attention to cats and dogs' behavior before air raids during the WWII years.

A beacon worker in South India said in December of 2004 that he had seen a large flock of antelopes fleeing the coastal area towards nearest hills just several hours before the tsunami disaster. Eyewitnesses say that elephants were trumpeting, breaking chains and escaping inland in Thailand. Having a presentiment of a forthcoming natural disaster, flamingos left their lowlands and flew in the direction of mountainous areas as well. Employees of the Malaysian zoo noticed that all animals had a very strange way of behavior: the majority of zoo animals hid in their shelters and refused to go out. 

The tsunami disaster killed over 30,000 people in Sri Lanka. However, almost all local elephants, deer and other wild animals survived the monstrous attack of tidal waves. It is worth mentioning that only one wild boar of 2,000 animals of an Indian reserve was killed in the 2004 tsunami disaster.

According to US biologists, 14 sharks, which were kept under regular observation for several years, had left their usual places of living 12 hours before Charlie hurricane hit Florida. The sharks disappeared in deep waters of the ocean and returned only two weeks later, although they have never left their natural habitat before.

Animals obviously know something that humans can never comprehend or learn. The tsunami disaster of 26 December 2004 made scientists look deeper into the mystery. Researchers have already proved that different animal species living all over the world possess the surprising ability to envisage natural catastrophes.

Unlike humans, wild animals can perceive a lot more information about the world around them. Their senses are a lot better, they can sense vibrations at huge distances; even a slight change in the atmospheric pressure will not remain unnoticed for animals. Their major advantage is an ability to read and see natural warnings, which helps them avoid the storm of nature. Biologists believe that it is impossible to obtain such a capability, although the knowledge of animal instincts could bring good to people.

Scientists also noticed that wild animals have a much better reaction to imminent dangers in comparison with domestic animals. Domestic animals live under the strong influence of human culture. The latter is made of a system of rules, taboos and physiological delicacies. It is not ruled out that a human being used to be as sensitive to natural changes as wild animals are now. Ancient people probably had this animal instinct as well: perhaps they knew where to run and hide in order to save themselves from earthquakes or volcano eruptions. There is even an expression in modern language – “To have the feeling of animal fear.” The human civilization wiped off the capacity for biological indication. A human being does not have an adequate reaction to what the body registers despite the person's will.

Some people suffer from terrible pain in the joints before powerful landslides, for example. Others suffer from internal hemorrhage or high temperature, which occurs before a natural disaster without any particular reasons. Children and extrasensorial individuals are most “talented tellers” of forthcoming natural disasters in this respect.