One of the major concerns of human beings is to know when a devastating earthquake or storm will occur.
For this reason, research on animals traditionally said to be able to detect the most subtle signals warning of natural disasters is gaining momentum.
Here Are Five Animals With Special Superpowers
1. Dogs Can Smell CancerDogs have the remarkable ability to sniff out cancer in its early stages.
The first hint that this is possible appeared in 1989, but in 2011, the British Medical Journal published the results of a study conducted in the United Kingdom.
The study used a Labrador retriever to detect signs of cancer in the breath and fecal samples of 250 patients (only 90 of whom were ill) by smell.
The experiment was a complete success since the animal identified 93% of the cases. Other positive samples were taken, opening up an interesting area of research.
2. Grizzly Bears Are... MeteorologistsIn the past, hunters and explorers living in the Rocky Mountains of western North America claimed that grizzly bears knew when the snow was coming because they had previously retreated to caves.
Even today, US forest rangers back up these claims. But so far there is no scientific study to confirm this.
3. Sharks Like StormsNeil Hammerschlag of the University of Miami's Conservation Program tracked several sharks with a monitoring device.
The researcher found that these animals like to swim in waters where there are sudden changes in temperature, and these are generally places where storms will occur at sea.
4. Cats Can Sense EarthquakesMost medieval chronicles that speak of earthquakes mention that before they happen, some animals behave strangely: dogs howl uncontrollably, cats run and hide, and other creatures show signs of anxiety, each in its own way.
Cats get very nervous before an earthquake, meowing and looking for shelter. If danger is imminent they may run around the house in a mad dash, meowing fearfully, even howling, and sometimes becoming aggressive.
In 1976, in Friuli, the dogs started howling and the cats were very agitated. Shortly afterward the region was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale.
Before the major earthquakes in Northridge, California (1994) and in Turkey and Greece (1999), strange animal behavior was reported. Cats, for example, sought hiding places.
Similarly, a few hours before a powerful earthquake occurred in Italy in 1805, cats began to spit and were extremely agitated and tried to hide.
In 2011, Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, a Japanese researcher published a study revealing that cats exhibited abnormal behavior two days before an earthquake in Tokyo. The scientist explained that the cats were more stressed and nervous, and some even disappeared.
Hiroyuki Yamaguchi points to the possibility that cats can detect changes in air pressure or ground vibrations that are imperceptible to humans.
James Berkland, a retired geologist from Santa Clara County, California, says he can predict earthquakes with better than 75% accuracy just by counting lost-animal notices in newspapers and correlating that data with lunar cycles. Berkland says the number of dogs and cats that get lost increases significantly two weeks before an earthquake occurs.
5. Seismologist... Cows
Japanese researcher Hiroyuki Yamaguchi's study also drew attention to cows. The Japanese researcher said that during the six days before the earthquake, ruminants produced less milk than usual. They resumed their rhythm four days after the earthquake.