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Things Animals Do Before An Earthquake

Recently my hometown in Maryland was rocked by a quakier than usual earthquake. Of course, my immediate thought was of my mom’s two yorkies and how they likely flipped the fuck out moments before the quake took place (these are dogs easily unhinged by the presence of balloons and paper towel rolls). And so I wondered what the rest of the animals would be up to in those frightful minutes before the event.

In general, when any major natural disaster is coming, animals want to flee the area. And from what I can tell from tweets, dogs freak out. That’s not really descriptive enough for me so I had to figure out what a “freak out” entails. A Japanese doctor noticed that dog bites tend to increase around earthquake events and barking but he couldn’t really conclude anything since dogs seemingly bark all the time for no reason.

The Maryland SPCA, however, was ready to conclude some shit and called people after the latest quake to ask about their pets’ shenanigans. Pet owners claimed that while some of their animals hid under beds, made a ton of noise, and ran around, others had no fucks to give about quakes and instead took to napping. Shows how reliable they are. I can’t blame pets though as the ability to survive without bedazzled kerchiefs and filtered water is being bred out of them.

What about other animals? Other animals aren’t bogged down with bows, tied up listening to NPR or learning to open the fridge. No. They’ve got ears to the ground, ready to pick up and flee like champions at the smallest hint of a disaster. In Sri Lanka and Thailand, elephants haul ass uphill along with …seemingly every other animal in the area. In fact, so lightning responsive were they that, after the 2004 tsunami, almost no animal carcasses were found in the receded waters. But, Kristin, you say, what is almost? That’s just as bad as the pets. And I say that you could guess the animals that didn’t make it. Cat. And maybe some buffalo but I gunna round them up to “cows” to support my thoughts here.

For other animals I might have missed:

More on toads being awesome at predicting shit here.

Actually I’m pretty sure this happens all the time on Christmas Island but whatever.

I’ll try to find more cool photos of animals reacting to things like this.

UPDATE:

Dogs both freak out and flee like champions.

The dog in this video didn’t have enough time to really freak and instead took off just moments before the quake happened.

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