Animals May Sense Impending Hurricanes, Research Suggests

August 23, 2012; 3:51 AM ET
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This photograph of geese is courtesy of

Although the topic is still under debate, many people believe animals are able to sense an impending hurricane.

Sharks swimming out to deeper water, birds "waiting out" storms or animals moving to higher ground have all been reported before storms. Do animals have an acute sense that allows them to "predict" impending disasters?

Some animals are believed to be sensitive to the low frequency sound waves emitted by hurricanes. They can also detect the slight drops in air and water pressure that signal a storm's approach.

Researchers reported that they found birds were sensitive to the air pressure changes that accompany storms. As storms approach, the birds often land and wait for the storm to pass, according to

Just before a hurricane approached, researchers witnessed tagged sharks swim out to deeper water.

Not all scientists are convinced that animals flee to avoid storms or earthquakes. Some believe the animals react to the sound of an approaching storm or the shaking of the earth by fleeing to the safety of the forest.

The reason the animals are fleeing the storm, the sound, air pressure or water pressure changes may be in dispute, but it is a fact that some animals can sense an approaching hurricane.


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