Thursday, 1 December 2011

Animals can predict earthquakes

It is rumored now a days that animals can sense possibly accruing chemical changes in groundwater before the earthquakes to hit and it's not just a rumor any more. The researchers actually started to investigate after 2009 when a colony of toads emptied the pond in L'Aquila Italy few days before an earthquake. So they said that animal behavior can be helpful into earthquake forecasting.

The research group's research report published according to the report when underground rocks stressed they released the charged particles that react with groundwater and cause a chemical change in the water.So animals can sense these changes days before the rocks get slipped i-e before the earthquake. 

The team, made by Friedemann Freund from NASA and Rachel Grant from the UK's Open University hopes that their research will help the biologists and geologists to find out how animal reacts when an earthquake is about to strike and hence minimize the risk of disaster.

The Italy toads are not a single example of this unusual behavior before the disaster. There have been so many changes reported throughout the history of reptiles, amphibians and fish behaving in strange way before a disaster struck. But such unusual behaviors are not necessarily due to the chemical changes by the changing position of tectonic plates, for example if we recall the earthquake in 1975 in China, many people reported snakes coming out from their burrows a month before a disastrous earthquake. But this occurred during winter which was the season of snake hibernation and they came outside of the freezing temperature. 

But the Italy toad colony case was different. According to a researcher who was observing the pond for her PHD the whole colony abandoned dramatically in 3 days and she published the news in a news journal. Later she was contacted by NASA. The US scientists had been studying the chemical changes produced due to underground rocks stress, and they were surprised if these changes were associated with the toad colony.

Later Laboratory tests revealed that not only these chemical changes but the changes during earth crust are directly affect the life in such ponds. The charged particles released by tectonic forces react with substances in water turning them into toxic substances harmful for aquatic life.


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