Interconnectedness: Animal behavior predicts earthquakes.

In times like these, in which we have witnessed earthquakes, wild fires, floods, oil spills, uncontrollable virus outbreaks, many people are experiencing great stress and upheaval.

Growing numbers are feeling sincere compassion and care for the people, wildlife and environments affected. Various prayer and meditation groups are sending out love and care to help uplift people and animals and plants affected, to create global well-being and relieve suffering. 

Interconnectedness – we believe – exists between all living systems and the earth. Here are some examples that illustrate interconnectedness between animals and Earth-related events.

The quotes come from Annette Deyhle, Ph.D. and GCI Research Team of the Heartmath Institute who shared an interesting story on October 6, 2010. Already over 10 years ago but a story still very relevant today.

Can animals sense earthquakes?

The belief that earthquakes can be predicted based on animal behavior has been around for centuries, and many reports and stories from eye witnesses support this.

In 373 B.C., historians recorded that animals such as rats, snakes, weasels and centipedes left the Greek city of Helice several days before an earthquake devastated it.

There are many accounts of pet owners claiming to have witnessed their cats, dogs or livestock acting strangely before an earthquake. Precisely what animals sense remains a mystery.

One theory is that wild and domestic creatures feel the earth vibrate before humans do. Some research suggests that animals detect changes in the groundwater level, increases in humidity or electrical changes in the air’s ions or radon gas released from Earth before an earthquake.

Because earthquakes are sudden events, geologists and seismologists have not been able to predict exactly when they will occur. According to estimates based on US Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake statistics, over 1.3 million earthquakes occur each year, but only about 130 of them are in the range of 6.0 magnitude or higher on earthquake scales.

Most modern scientific studies have not considered the possibility that the unusual behavior of domestic and wild animals occurring several days or weeks in advance of an earthquake could be related to it. Buskirk et al. (1981) reports, however, that of 36 earthquakes occurring from 1923 to 1978 in Europe, Asia and the Americas, the most unusual animal behavior occurred near the epicenters within one or two days of the quakes and the species cited were primarily domestic.

In 2008, two days before a devastating earthquake hit China’s Sichuan province; thousands of toads suddenly were seen moving across a bridge in Taizhou (April 26, 2009, see photo). Chinese authorities did not associate that event with the earthquake.

A recent study by Grant and Halliday published in the Journal of Zoology in 2010 looked at a population of Bufo bufo toads 74 km away from the Italian city of L’Aquila, where a devastating 6.3 earthquake hit in April 2009. For this study, the authors used very low-frequency and low-frequency electromagnetic signals to look at perturbations in the ionosphere, which have recently been linked with large earthquakes. Maekawa at al. (2006) established that the ionosphere is disturbed a few days to a week before an earthquake.

In the Grant and Halliday study, breeding toads were monitored at San Ruffino Lake in Italy. Scientists reported there was a 95% decline in the number of male toads on the lake’s breeding ground five days before the quake, which, as the authors state, is highly unusual behavior for toads, because they usually remain active once they start breeding. The number of toads on the breeding ground began rising after the earthquake. Also, pre-seismic perturbations were recorded in the ionosphere before the quake.

The presence of magnetoreceptors in toads and other amphibians may be used for navigation and enable them to detect small changes in geomagnetism and the magnetic fields produced in the ionosphere, and could also be useful in helping them evade impending earthquakes (Kirschvink, 2000). The Grant & Halliday study provides scientific evidence that toads react to seismic events. This interesting and documented case supports a type of interconnectedness between animals and the earth.

GCI’s Interconnectedness Study:

In the past, awareness of an interconnectedness between people and people and the earth and its solar system was strong among many shamanic, indigenous and religious traditions. Most of these traditions believe there is a universal consciousness that pervades and connects everything – the planet, rocks, plants, animals and human beings – in subtle and unseen ways.

Many in modern science now are beginning to accept that we indeed are all part of a vast web of connections that encompass not only life on this planet but the solar system and beyond. Today, the notion of interconnectedness is discussed by scientists and many others who have the challenging task of trying to prove that the interconnectedness of life is not merely a spiritual belief, but scientific fact.

Many studies suggest that this interconnectedness exists, but the more challenging task is developing an understanding of what forces mediate such interconnections. To demonstrate and understand how we are all interconnected is of greatest importance because it is critical for the global community to take increased responsibility and care for each other and the earth, which is sustaining life and providing its many resources.

In the preliminary results of the GCI , conducted from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2009, the following parameters of human wellbeing were found to be significantly correlated to the solar and earth parameters described above: Fatigue, Anxiety, Confusion, Dreams, Positive Affect and Well-being. This means not only animals, but also people are sensitive to these variations in planetary and cosmic conditions. The statistical details can be examined in the document link below.

Henk Kieft

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