The terrible 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria in early February killed tens of thousands of people, turning the whole unstable region into the mixture of humanitarian crisis and natural disaster. There are so many ruined buildings, villages and numerous dead people and animals. The catastrophe is real and it is screaming on us, reminding us how fragile we are at each moment when nature is playing its checkmate.

In the background of all these terrific happenings over there, we are also facing the information that many animals did know or did feel that the disaster is coming and some of them tried to warn their human friends. As always, the question is do we listen when we need to hear ? The animals early warning system is not just a metaphoric statement but the scientific fact that could help human beings to better estimate their own safety, especially when it comes to the natural horror events.

The ability of animals to predict the coming disasters is not the new one but also it goes back to history and even recent history. When we think of Tsunami that has been activated by 9.1 magnitude undersea quake off Indonesia, we cant forget those walls of water up to 9m ( 30ft) that smashed all local communities and where all human made alters have been failed before even reached the target. The death toll was about 225,000 people across those countries and never ending chaos. Nevertheless, there are evidences that animals predicted this and tried to react but humans have been blind and deaf. Some reported that many hours before the real catastrophe has been started, elephants ran for higher ground, flamingos escaped their low-lying nests and dogd and cats didnt want to go outdoors. The locals in some village of Bang Koey in Thailand informed that the herd of buffalo suddenly pricking their ears, watching out to sea and then stampeding to the top of the hill.

It is interesting that majority animals escaped the death since the core of disaster was the coast. This means that animals heard that something is going on and tried to save themselves. The animal experts and historians also researched that even in the ancient times, the animals predicted the catastrophic events and tried to flee:“The earliest recorded reference to unusual animal behaviour prior to a natural disaster dates back to 373 BC, when the Greek historian Thucydides reported rats, dogs, snakes and weasels  deserting the city of Helice in the days before a catastrophic earthquake. Other reports dot history. Minutes before the Naples quake of 1805, oxen, sheep, dogs and geese supposedly started making alarm calls in unison, while horses were said to have run off in panic just prior to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.” This is the stronger proof than any other in spite of fact that many pet owners always think that animals are precious and smart but the facts they are talented with sixth sense is with no doubt and fully objective and not subjective.

The Japan has the similar experiences with the strange behaviour of domestic animals prior the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, back in 2011. The Japanese scientist Hiroyuki Yamauchi even lead the study based on the observations of pet owners and the reaction of their animals before the disaster. The pet owners reported that their animals have been stressed and tried to be close to their people and some farmers even informed that cows didnt give enough milk at that time due to the stress caused by ( then) unknown factor. The dogs and cats have great hearing range and also detecting the scent a way better than humans so they can feel the danger or that something is coming and it wont be really good. The experts believe that our pets can sense the atmospheric pressure change as well as gravity change and ground deformation. Beside it, all those underground tectonic movements, acoustic signals and vibrations or so called micro cracks and tiny emission of chemical substances are the wind of change that cant be sensed by humans but by animals and they are translating into our language and warn us.

Can we rely on this and make our forecast evacuation plans ? That would possibly help and prevent the death of many innocent persons. If we look on the ancient Homo sapiens and how they learnt from animals to survive the different moods of nature, long before the modern technology has been available, we must conclude that the high-tech world is no so precious as the pure survival instinct of animals. Did you know that on February 4, 1975, Chinese officials evacuated the the city of Haicheng, based on the strange and odd behaviour of animals. It was the 7.4 magnitude earthquake with 2,041 people who died and about 27,538 injured but the statistic would have been horrifying without evacuation made on the animals early warning system.

There are always some people who will deny the possibility of our pets and animals general to predict the catastrophic events. They consider themselves logical thinkers and I can follow them, because as long as something is not fully confirmed theory, it is remaining the part of spiritual dimension. However, this cant be moved from the global interest and study because it must be something there and has to be brought out and proved.

If it is not anything special about our four legged friends that have odd pattern of behaviour prior to the disaster, how come that those animals detect it and want to escape ? For dogs it has been confirmed that they want to be close to their humans while cats are afraid and want to bring their human relatives into the safety and to seek refuge. Each of them have another respective but each of them would like to save us and themselves. You know the stories about cats that fanatic tried to wake up their owners because the home was in fire or the dogs that did their best to bring owners into the safety along before the nature attacked. I believe that humans lost their precious sixth sense due to the noise of the world and being busy. Animals didn’t and they still have it and can use it. They are better connected to the nature and can read the warnings of Mother Nature without any distraction unlike humans.

I trust to animals and I have faith in my own animals and being sure I would follow their instant in the case of urgency. They are still the part of the nature and know how to find shelter and mercy and I know they would keep me safe and protect me. Sometimes we need to trust them more than we trust to our world that made us loose our pure survival instinct and senses.


  1. I have to confess, Sarah, that I find this to be your best article ever, even though all your articles are excellent !

    I totally concur with you as to animals and their sixth sense. Further, their loyalty is unquestionable and undeniable ! Humans had better learn from animals and should have complete trust in them ! I know, I do !

    Thank you, Sarah, for this marvelous article ! You have really surpassed yourself !


  2. Sarah’s informative and relative article induced me to ponder the possibility of prehistoric humans possessing superior senses to modern, urbanised-humans… For example, nomadic peoples of present day Southern Africa (e.g. the San) have superior senses to their urban counterparts, as their natural environments encourage sense perception precision and extension, etc.

    Scientists know that the neurological system of humans is influenced by extraneous aspects like the Earth’s geomagnetic field, solar radiation, gravity and natural electrical discharges in the atmosphere. Yet, it is known if humans were ever able to sense the first minor signs of definitive, massive geophysical movement of the planet.

    The first seismic discharge of a major earthquake is called ‘P-waves’, which are deciphered by various organisms (e.g. avian species) up to a minute before the principal impact, as a sign that imminent topographical dislodgement is going to occur: the following S-waves are those which cause the main damage.

    The data are conflicting, though: aftershocks of earthquakes that occurred decades ago (e.g. one in Yellowstone National Park, USA, in 1959, had aftershocks still in 2021) can be confusing for organisms that sense the seismic waves.

    In addition, it does not happen every single time (i.e. organisms sensing small pre-major impact seismic waves of earthquakes, etc.): it can depend upon topography, density of biodiversity, status of the Earth’s axis, and other factors. Yet, these organisms sense up to 60% at least of minor seismic waves that result in major earthquakes.

    Organisms known to be magnetoreceptive are able to detect electromagnetic waves in the ultra low frequency and extremely low frequency ranges that reach the surface of the Earth, before an earthquake.

    However, negative human impacts on the planet (e.g. climate change and synthetic pollution) alter natural systems in organisms, and it has been documented that high-precision sensing of many species is becoming impeded by the human world…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !