Podcast: Can Animals Predict Earthquakes?
by Ryan Schleeter
January 19, 2016
Check out episode nine of Completely Optional Knowledge, the podcast that answers questions you never knew you had. Some things in life are #CompletelyOptional — satisfying your curiosity doesn’t have to be one of them.
If you could have a head start preparing for an earthquake to hit, wouldn’t you take it?
Ask most residents of San Francisco, one of the most seismically active cities in the country, and they’d say yes.
At least that’s what recent San Francisco transplant Terry Worona thinks. He’s holding out hope that his girlfriend’s chihuahua can give him a leg up on the rest of the city’s human population when the next big quake strikes.
To see if his theory holds up, we tracked down Dr. Rachel Grant, whose research examines how animals’ special “sensitivities” help them stay in tune with changes in the natural world. Using motion-triggered cameras, she and a team of scientists tracked animal behaviors in Peru’s Yanachaga National Park for months before a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook the region in 2011.
Learn about what she found on the latest episode of Completely Optional Knowledge:
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Editor’s note: Dr. Grant reached out to us after recording to clarify that, while her research focuses on wild, free-roaming animals, there have been numerous anecdotal reports of domestic animals behaving strangely before earthquakes, as well.
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