How Do Animals Predict Natural Disasters

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One of the most outstanding things about animals is that they are so sensitive that they can sense predators and avoid them while also having the ability to locate prey. But the most mind-blowing thing here is that animals have the shocking ability to detect natural disasters even before they happen. Many researchers have conducted studies on how animals can detect natural disasters like earthquakes. In the science community, there are two broad explanations or theories on how animals can develop this perception. 

The Theories

The first explanation is that animals can detect vibrations of the earth. This is a good illustration of how animals like elephants can detect earthquakes or even tsunamis long before seismologists can detect same. Another theory holds that animals can detect the minute changes in the atmosphere or the gases that are released by the planet itself. Even though studies are still ongoing, and scientists are far from having any conclusive evidence yet, there is some at least basic understanding in this regard. 

Scientists believe that the animals located at the Yala National Park can detect earthquakes and even move to higher grounds before the waves smashed the shoreline. Tsunamis are enormously destructive, so it does not come as any surprise that scientists are extremely interested in comprehending how animals can sense this. 

Interesting Perspectives

Some other scientists are somewhat skeptical regarding the use of animals as the biological detectors of natural disasters. These scientists have pointed to the inability to come up with a controlled study that can link a particular animal behavior with a natural disaster, like an earthquake event. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), transformations in the behaviors of animals cannot be used as a predictive factor for earthquakes. 

The Survey insists that although there are recorded instances of unusual behavioral patterns in animals in connection with natural disasters like earthquakes, there is no reproducible link connecting a particular behavior and the occurrence of natural disasters like earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. As animals have powerful senses of perception, the widely held belief is that they can detect the initial stages of a disaster before human beings can. Some scientists are also of the opinion that even though animals can transform their behavioral patterns for several reasons, it is not sure if these are triggered by some perception. 

Even though scientists have not reached a consensus on if animal behavior can be used as a reliable indicator for predicting natural disasters, they are all united on one stance. This stance is that animals can detect and sense changes in the natural environment even before human beings can do the same. It is based on this that scientists from different parts of the globe have not stopped studying the behaviors of animals concerning natural events like earthquakes. The hope is that with time, the results of the studies will enable us to better understand and predict natural disasters. 


There is remarkable progress in the study and scientists are eagerly awaiting a breakthrough. Whenever this is made, it will be a lot easier to predict natural disasters in a more efficient manner using animals. If this dream comes true, it will save governments billions of dollars in what could have been damaged by these disasters. Populations will be a lot easier to evacuate and a lot more lives will be saved. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake was so destructive because it was not detected early enough by humans – even if animals did. A world where our pets can alert us to an impending doom long before the disaster happens is surely a much better planet for us all. 

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