Saturday, January 01, 2005

Animals seem to be able to "sense" Tsunami

The sixth sense

Wired writes that animals seem to be able to sense when natural disasters are about to happen. No dead animals from the Tsunami have been found yet in Sri Lanka. An excerpt:

JOHANNESBURG -- Wild animals seem to have escaped the Indian Ocean tsunami, adding weight to notions they possess a sixth sense for disasters, experts said Thursday.

Sri Lankan wildlife officials have said the giant waves that killed over 24,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast seemingly missed wild beasts, with no dead animals found.

"No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit," said H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of Sri Lanka's Wildlife Department. "I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening."

The waves washed floodwaters up to two miles inland at Yala National Park in the ravaged southeast, Sri Lanka's biggest wildlife reserve and home to hundreds of wild elephants and several leopards.

"There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence about dogs barking or birds migrating before volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. But it has not been proven," said Matthew van Lierop, an animal behavior specialist at Johannesburg Zoo. "There have been no specific studies because you can't really test it in a lab or field setting."

Other authorities concurred with this assessment. "Wildlife seem to be able to pick up certain phenomenon, especially birds ... there are many reports of birds detecting impending disasters," said Clive Walker, who has written several books on African wildlife.

Animals certainly rely on the known senses such as smell or hearing to avoid danger such as predators. The notion of an animal sixth sense -- or some other mythical power -- is an enduring one which the evidence on Sri Lanka's battered coast is likely to add to.

The Romans saw owls as omens of impending disaster and many ancient cultures viewed elephants as sacred animals endowed with special powers or attributes.

The tsunami was triggered by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean Sunday, killing tens of thousands of people in Asia and East Africa.

Just goes to show you that animals actually do have a 6th sense for these sort of things. Too bad it obviously can't be tested in the lab.


At 2:28 PM, Blogger Evert Jan said...

That's some pretty cool shit man. Once again. Humans fail where the animals are better evolved, are we still superior? The ability of thinking doesn't always make you the king of the world, it's just an ability. When you're looking at 6th senses you can see that the animals are more wielded in life. Humans also have 6th senses so why doesn't it work at times like these? I'll tell you. Our current track will lead us nowhere. It's fun, but it won't make a difference. We're trying to defend ourselves in illusions of thinking and claiming that we are the right ones, claiming that this is the life through our own made up point of view. We're looking in the wrong direction. We just choose to be this way, animals act on their natural instincts and wave along with the dense of life. Natural, something we try to demolish as fast as possible. How can you act when you've demolished the true point of view before usage. We don't feel life, we're trying to fight it. It's no problem ofcourse, but don't start complaining afterwards in the mess you've created yourself. 6th senses are normal only we don't try to listen.


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