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Can Your Dog Predict Earthquakes?

Take a look and let us know if any changes have occurred in your pup's behavior.

By MilenPublished about a month ago 6 min read

Did you know that dogs and other animals can detect when an earthquake is nearing?

Though most animals intuitively understand earthquakes, scientists believe they may detect earthquakes several days or weeks in advance!

Which dogs possess this extraordinary capacity?

Let us recall 1989 in San Francisco, California.

One of the most anticipated World Series matches ever witnessed the entire nation being immersed in an extraordinary battle.

Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants had long been rivals within San Francisco. But just prior to game 3's start time on live television, everyone witnessed a 6.9-magnitude earthquake shake San Francisco with terrifying force.

People were thrown from their seats, debris fell, screaming ensued, and finally, it was reported that 63 individuals had perished due to this devastating earthquake.

But the most surprising development took place before the catastrophe.

Minutes before an earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area, dogs started fleeing, barking, scratching, and acting oddly. Many pet owners reported this strange behavior just before the earthquake.

Researchers and scientists needed clarification.

Did this incident happen by chance, or did our dogs have an emergency plan for the 1989 San Francisco earthquake?

Dogs were observed engaging in suspicious behavior before an earthquake.

Following the 9.0 Japanese earthquake of 2011, which led to the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, an investigation was initiated.

Japanese researchers surveyed pet owners as part of the research study. According to this research, 236 of 1,259 owners reported strange or peculiar behaviors from their pets before an earthquake struck; 60% of the reported instances happened minutes before.

Unusual behaviors include needing constant attention or excessive barking.

Some dogs were seen screaming, fleeing, and escaping before major earthquakes occurred. These behaviors first made headlines because they were present before an event such as this.

Ancient Greece dates back as far as 373 B.C.

Evidence showed that dogs acted oddly and strangely before the destruction occurred. Weasels, snakes, rats, and other vermin left their homes temporarily to flee before destruction occurred. According to anecdotal accounts from witnesses, even insects, birds, fish, and reptiles have exhibited weird behavior weeks or even seconds prior to an earthquake that caused such immense destruction. Dogs have to detect earthquakes before they occur so we can avoid accidental events altogether.

However, how exactly can they do this?

Dogs possess extraordinary powers. One way that dogs may detect earthquakes is through sensing "Pwaves," commonly referred to as compressional waves. Pwaves originate at the source of an earthquake and travel outward through its course until impact, moving the ground cyclically along its course, usually within seconds after an earthquake has been felt on the floor, yet we don't detect these smaller and quicker waves.

Dogs could detect these waves with enhanced senses, which might explain why some react strangely shortly before we perceive a significant seismic wave. However, more is needed to fully explain why certain dogs can detect earthquakes days or weeks in advance.

Scientists' findings suggest that dogs have superior hearing. Not only can they hear from long distances, but their hearing allows them to detect more types of sounds than humans can. Scientists believe that dogs may even detect impending earthquake activity before it strikes—something humans cannot.

Your pets could hear all that grinding and scraping of plates, tectonics, and rock breakages!

Can humans hear these noises?

Humans do not recognize this because high-pitched sounds are audible to human hearing. Since this form of seismic activity typically takes place hours or days before an earthquake's occurrence, it could explain why some dogs become anxious as opposed to when it actually strikes.

Dr. Stanley Coren conducted an influential canine behavioral and research study that supports this theory in 2001. Coren studied SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder); this condition can also cause "winter blues" or depression symptoms in humans.

Winter brings stress and anxiety significantly as daylight decreases; those most at risk during this period may find themselves suffering more frequently from these symptoms, and anxiety levels increase due to reduced sunshine exposure.

Coren researched to see whether dogs could exhibit similar characteristics as humans.

He sent emails twice each week to 200 dog owners asking their opinions on their dog's anxiety and activity levels in the preceding day. By sheer luck and chance, Coren collected this data just days before an enormous 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Northwest - on February 27, 2001, to be precise! According to this researcher, on this date, there was an unusually high level of activity and anxiety; nearly 47 percent of dogs experienced an increase in activity.

Furthermore, 49 percent of dogs demonstrated significant increases in anxiety levels - be aware that these were dramatic jumps.

Dr. Coren had observed daily averages before and since, which were relatively constant; but an unusual rise in his readings on that particular day prompted him to investigate further. Out of 200 dogs examined by him, 14 were hearing impaired; one of these 14 animals displayed increased anxiety, confirming his initial thought: these hearing-impaired dogs must have heard before the earthquake hit.

Dr. Coren also classified canines according to their ears: those with floppily laid ears, those with lopped or cropped ears, and those with pinched or pinched-back ears.

He found that fewer dogs with ears that flopped over displayed signs of anxiety or activity compared to those from other categories.

Floppy ears tend to block off dogs' eardrums, making hearing harder for some dogs. Dr. Coren examined this phenomenon further, proposing that dogs might hear higher-pitch activity underground.

Dr. Coren achieved this by grouping his dog subjects according to their head size. Smaller heads detect higher-frequency sounds better, meaning smaller-headed dogs would be better at picking up seismic activity at higher frequencies.

Studies conducted before an earthquake revealed that dogs with smaller heads experienced an increase in activity and anxiety levels!

This evidence supports the theory that dogs can hear sounds occurring beneath them!

Theories do not end here, however.

Researchers studying the Fukushima earthquake recently observed that dogs can detect changes to atmospheric pressure levels, gravity shifts, vibrations from small cracks in plates, groundwater levels, and the production of gas or chemical substances.

Dogs might notice changes to their environment before an earthquake of significant magnitude occurs, including small shifts that cause anxiety. They're creatures of habit - so any unexpected or abnormal behavior in their daily routine or surroundings could cause plenty of worries!

"My dog is barking and howling, yet acting anxious!" If this sounds familiar, perhaps your thoughts have gone something like this: "My pet seems stressed!"

Are You Prepared for Covert Actions? (FAQs on Covert Operations).

Though not so much...

Your dog could act this way for various reasons - not always due to an impending earthquake.

As any dog owner knows, an emergency can arise at any moment, and ensuring your and your family's safety, including that of your furry friends, is paramount. Being prepared will allow for better outcomes!

Here are a few helpful reminders.

Keep this in mind as the ground begins to shake: don't hold onto your dog's hand as his instincts kick in and look for safe havens to seek shelter in.

When they become distressed, dogs typically seek safety in certain hiding places. If possible, try to become familiar with those hiding spots and have some of their favorite food readily available when the worst has passed.

Make sure your dog wears tags, collars, or microchip identification so it will be easy for anyone attempting to reunite him or her with its home should he or she escape.

An adequate supply of dry foods and bottles of water is indispensable.

Make sure you purchase food for your pets too!

If your pup requires medication, keep an extra supply on hand in case something unexpected comes up.

The key to keeping a calm environment for you and your dog is staying as calm as possible. Dogs can pick up on when their owners become anxious or fearful; staying composed may help lower anxiety for both parties!

Have your pets ever behaved strangely before an earthquake?

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