Can Dogs Detect Earthquakes?
It is known that dogs and other animals can detect earthquakes before they happen. This is because they have a highly sensitive sense of hearing and smell that allows them to pick up on the subtle changes in the environment that occur before an earthquake strikes.
For example, dogs may be able to detect changes in air pressure or subtle vibrations in the ground that humans are unable to detect. Some dogs have even been trained to alert their owners to the impending arrival of an earthquake, giving people time to evacuate and find safety. But not all dogs will show this ability.
There have been some scientific studies on the ability of dogs to detect earthquakes, but there are no conclusive results yet for that matter.
Studies on Dogs Behavior on Earthquake
One of the first studies on this subject was conducted in Greece in the 1990s, where researchers found that dogs appeared to be able to detect the onset of earthquakes several minutes before they occurred. Since then, there have been a few other studies that have attempted to replicate these findings and to determine if there is a scientific basis for the phenomenon.
These studies have found that dogs, along with other animals, may be able to detect certain seismic signals that precede earthquakes, such as changes in air pressure, the release of gases from the ground, or electromagnetic signals. However, the results of these studies are mixed and more research is needed to determine the extent to which dogs and other animals can detect earthquakes and identify the signals of upcoming tremors.
While the evidence for dogs detecting earthquakes is exciting, more research is needed to determine the reliability and accuracy of this myth.
USGS Study on Dogs Behavior on Earthquake
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) explains that abnormal animal behavior in the seconds preceding an earthquake can be due to the difference between two forms of seismic waves: primary (P) waves and secondary (S) waves. P waves are the first waves to be emitted from an earthquake, and they travel through the Earth’s interior at a speed of several miles per second. These waves are often more noticeable to animals, as they can cause subtle changes in air pressure, temperature, and other physical properties that animals can detect.
Examples of Dogs Detecting Tremors Earlier
There are several cases of dogs detecting earthquakes before they happen and alerting their owners. Here are a few examples:
In the 1990s, a dog in Greece barked repeatedly before an earthquake struck, alerting its owner to evacuate the building.
In 2009, a dog in California barked and ran outside just before an earthquake hit, allowing its owners to evacuate their home safely.
In 2010, a dog in China barked and refused to enter its kennel just before a major earthquake struck, alerting its owners to evacuate the building.
In 2011, a dog in Japan barked and ran outside just before the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the country, allowing its owners to evacuate to safety.
In 2023, Dog howled continuously before the earthquake.
These are just a few examples of how dogs have been able to detect earthquakes before they occur and alert their owners. While it is still not fully understood how dogs are able to detect earthquakes, it is clear that they have a heightened sense of awareness and a strong instinct to protect their owners, which can be very valuable in emergency situations.