“Birds, like the albatross, can be greatly affected by changes in the weather. So can they predict when the next storm will hit? See more pictures of storms.Tui De Roy/Minden Pictures/Getty Images
Can your dog or a passing flock of birds predict an incoming storm? Is there any scientific research to substantiate those claims? And even more interestingly, if animals can predict the weather, do we stop watching the weatherman and start observing the behaviors of animals at the zoo or in our own backyards?
The implications of such a revelation would surely have a huge impact on people’s day-to-day lives. Even more so, these predictions would be especially valuable during catastrophic events like earthquakes, tidal waves, or a one-in-a-million natural disaster, like the tsunami that smashed into Southeast Asia on Dec. 26, 2004.
One of the things we will examine is a widely observed (though scientifically unproven) phenomenon — even though the tidal wave killed more than 200,000 people, almost no wild animals perished (with the exception of caged or confined animals within the wave’s path). Observers report that the animals seemed to have some warning, whether by several hours or just seconds, that allowed them, and the people who heeded those warnings, the chance to find safety.
Let’s continue on and look closely at this animal phenomenon to see if there’s any fact behind the fiction.