+2 votes
in General Factchecking by Apprentice (1.4k points)
edited by
Tributsch argued that because animals have drier body surfaces than humans (they do not sweat as we do), they are more susceptible to such electrostatic charges. Because of that, dogs and cats can predict earthquakes.

13 Answers

+2 votes
by Apprentice (1.1k points)
selected by
 
Best answer
According to an article by the Seismological Society of America, they conclude that dogs indeed cannot predict earthquakes. The article states, "For centuries people have claimed that strange behavior by their cats, dogs, and even cows can predict an imminent earthquake, but the first rigorous analysis of the phenomenon concludes that there is no strong evidence behind the claim." The article continues by explaining that this claim is simply concluded by single observations and anecdotes that cannot actually be tested. Therefore, this claim must be considered false, as there is ultimately not sufficient evidence to prove it to be true.

https://www.seismosoc.org/news/can-animals-predict-earthquakes
False
+2 votes
by Apprentice (1.2k points)

The claim is that Cats and Dogs are able to predict earthquakes. This is based off of the idea that they sweat less than humans and therefor are more susceptible to electrostatic charges. My initial opinion is that the science component behind this claim is inaccurate. Just because they may sweat less than humans, doesn't mean that dogs and cats are more susceptible to electrostatic charges from an earthquake. Additionally, Seismological Society of America also claims this is only a myth. An analysis in 2018 proved that, "For centuries people have claimed that strange behavior by their cats, dogs and even cows can predict an imminent earthquake, but the first rigorous analysis of the phenomenon concludes that there is no strong evidence behind the claim."

False
by Novice (960 points)
This claim is based on the information collected by the source provided, and is not a researched or truthful theory. A German scientist Tributsch published a book regarding a theory of ions rubbing together and animal skin being a radar, or detector, of natural disasters such as earthquakes. There is no mention of research, but rather just a mention of this estranged theory.
Based on personal research and internet surfing, there has been no set up trial or research conducted where animals, specifically dogs, are known to predict earthquakes. Articles such as, Can Dogs Predict Earthquakes , go into the depth of the characteristics and trigger warnings of earthquakes, and assumptions based on the science and composition of dogs, claiming them to be quake predictors. The date and information of this source shows how this issue is a hot topic, but in short doesn't do much more than what the original source of this claim did with its message delivery.
For cats, according to an article published on ISAAC, it seems to hold the same provided above rationale. There is a hypothesis for cats having a special sensitivity to the earth's magnetic fields, which aren't perceptible to humans, based on the theory of Tributsch.
There is not much out there besides theories, and hypothesis based on Tributschs' work, thereby falsifying this claim.
by Genius (38.8k points)
Nice work @kinzasherazi. Going forward, add your fact-check as an answer to the claim rather than making a comment on another person's fact-check. This will allow your answer to be upvoted and possibly be chosen as the best answer.
+2 votes
by Apprentice (1.0k points)
According to a United States Geological Survey, the earliest instance of weird animal behavior before a major earthquake was in 373 BC in Greece when many small animals left their homes and headed for safety days before an event. However, they have yet to find accurate information related to seismic events and whether animals are reacting to them. They say that most scientists studying this phenomenon are in Japan and China.  

In another article on their site, the USGS writes about a popular theory in the 1980s that claimed that there was a correlation between Lost Pet ads and the dates of earthquakes. However, in California Geology, this was disproven.

There was a claim that animals can feel P-waves, smaller seismic waves that come before the actual earthquake, but the scientist feel that there may be other precursors that we do not even know about that they may be reacting to.

They conclude by writing that there is still more research to be done about the subject, but that there is most likely a correlation.

https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/can-animals-predict-earthquakes#:~:text=Anecdotal%20evidence%20abounds%20of%20animals,could%20work%2C%20still%20eludes%20us.

https://www.usgs.gov/programs/earthquake-hazards/animals-earthquake-prediction
True
+2 votes
by Apprentice (1.4k points)
We definitely do see and experience different reactions with our pets and animals when it comes to different types of weather. For example, my dog is very afraid of thunder and lightning so he will immediately stay close to one of his humans when there is a storm, or take cover underneath my parents bed. I know this is also the case with many of my friends pets as well. So, because of this and the fact that animals have drier body surfaces than humans we might want to believe that animals can detect earthquakes. Although this would be something that is very fascinating according to an article by Farmers Almanac, "No one has proved without a doubt whether or not animals, and in particular, cats and dogs, may have the ability to predict them".

https://www.farmersalmanac.com/can-cats-and-dogs-predict-earthquakes-2472
by Genius (38.8k points)
Don't forget to add a rating to your fact-check next time (re: true, false, opinion, exaggerated, etc.)
+1 vote
by Apprentice (1.5k points)

In the article I found, it stated that ancient Greeks were the first to note that animals, including rats, snacks, weasels, would flee the city before a natural disaster would occur. Another example of this animal behaviour was in 1975 in China before an earthquake. Cats and dogs behaviours became very odd and because of this many people evacuated the city and many lives were saved. However, scientists had a hard time proving this claim. But, Dr. Stanley Coren, an author of many books on dog communication, found that dogs can detect earthquakes by their sense of hearing. Dogs, ability to hear at high frequencies lets them hear high pitch noises of rocks scraping and breaking beneath the earth. It's not that the dogs know an earthquake is coming, but that they hear a noise of "nails on a chalkboard," get agitated, and start acting weird. 

https://www.petrelocation.com/blog/post/pets-can-predict-earthquakes#:~:text=The%20Chinese%20have%20long%20believed,some%20kind%20of%20sixth%20sense.

True
by Genius (38.8k points)
When conducting a fact-check and searching for information, try to find the most reputable sources. The URL you have used is actually a blog post, which isn't typically the most reliable source for fact-checks. Reputable media outlets, research centers, and academia are more reliable sources of information.
+2 votes
by Novice (720 points)
According to the Seismological Society of America, there is no strong evidence that animals such as dogs and cats can predict earthquakes. Although there have been observations of dogs and cats showing abnormal behaviors prior to earthquakes, there haven't been enough studies done to explain their behavioral changes.

https://www.seismosoc.org/news/can-animals-predict-earthquakes/#:~:text=17%20April%202018%E2%80%93For%20centuries,strong%20evidence%20behind%20the%20claim.
False
+2 votes
by Novice (980 points)
According to the American Kennel Club, for centuries people have reported strange behaviors from their pets before an earthquake. The American Kennel Club described that dogs may be able to sense P-Waves, which humans cannot sense. With dogs' sharper senses, they may be able to sense these waves. However, this would not support that animals can detect earthquakes hours in advance. While there are theories about pets having the ability to detech earthquakes, there is still no concrete scientific evidence that pets can predict earthquakes or what mechanism they would use to do so. Due to the lack of scientific evidence, I would argue that this information is false. More research needs to be conducted.

Source: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/can-dogs-predict-earthquakes/
False
+2 votes
by Novice (620 points)
This does not seem to be true. According to seismosoc.org, "After analysis, conclusions point that there is no strong evidence of the claim." So no, any animal cannot predict earthquakes.

Here is the link to the article:https://www.seismosoc.org/news/can-animals-predict-earthquakes/#:~:text=17%20April%202018%E2%80%93For%20centuries,strong%20evidence%20behind%20the%20claim.
False
+1 vote
by Novice (700 points)

The claim as to if cats and dogs can predict earthquakes has been a question many have considered. Even scientists continue to take this question into consideration. Helmut Tributsch, a German scientist, wrote a book about animal behavior related to earthquakes. In the book, he discussed how when the Earths plates rub together they create this electrically charged air that could be detectable to animals. He also explained that because animals don't sweat as much as us humans do, their skin is able to detect this electrically charged air easier than we are.The article proposes that if you live in an area vulnerable to earthquakes,  the next time your cat or dog begins to act funny the owner should document their behavior to see if the two are related and if cats and dogs have the ability to do so. 

https://www.farmersalmanac.com/can-cats-and-dogs-predict-earthquakes-2472

by Genius (38.8k points)
Based on your fact-check, I don't know how you'd rate the claim. Would it be true? False? Don't forget to add a rating to your fact-checks going forward.
+1 vote
by Novice (800 points)

In the article "Can Pets Predict Earthquakes", the discuss how a German scientist Helmut Tributsch had published a book where he theorized that animals can predict the moving of tectonic plates. However, the article also states that 'There have been some great examples of animals acting strangely before earthquakes, yet no one has proven without a doubt whether or not animals, and in particular, cats and dogs, may have the ability to predict them." The article claims that Helmut's claim has not been proven to be correct yet. So far, it is just a theory based on some accounts of dogs acting strange before earthquakes. The website this was posted on, farmers almanac, is a periodical dedicated to offering weather predictions. They are not experts in the field of dog behavior. However, after reading an article published by the AKC, or American Kennel Club, this information seems to be true. They discuss a possible reason for dogs sensing earthquakes. This could be them sending One possible method of early earthquake detection is sensing "P waves" or even the noises of the earth shifting. The mention a how a study by Dr. Stanley Coren supports this claim. He collected data after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake. "His data included activity and anxiety levels in 200 dogs living in Vancouver, Canada, a city that was affected by the quake. On the day before the earthquake, 49 percent of the dogs showed a significant increase in anxiety, and 47 percent were considerably more active." Dr. Stanley Coren is an expert in the field of dog psychology. He has written many published books on dogs and their intelligence. All this information backs up the claim that dogs can predict earthquakes.  

https://www.farmersalmanac.com/can-cats-and-dogs-predict-earthquakes-2472

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/can-dogs-predict-earthquakes/

True
by Genius (38.8k points)
Do you believe your sources are stronger than the ones that say cats and dogs cannot predict earthquakes (re: Seismological Society of America, for instance)?  

https://www.seismosoc.org/news/can-animals-predict-earthquakes/#:~:text=17%20April%202018%E2%80%93For%20centuries,strong%20evidence%20behind%20the%20claim

Community Rules


Be respectful.

There is bound to be disagreement on a site about misinformation. Assume best intentions on everyone's part.

If you are new to factchecking, take some time to learn about it. "How to Factcheck" has some resources for getting started. Even if you disagree with these materials, they'll help you understand the language of this community better.

News Detective is for uncovering misinformation and rumors. This is not a general interest question-answer site for things someone could Google.

Posting

The title is the "main claim" that you're trying to factcheck.

Example:
Factcheck This: Birds don't exist

If possible, LINK TO to the place you saw the claim.

Answering

LINK TO YOUR EVIDENCE or otherwise explain the source ("I called this person, I found it in this book, etc.")

But don't just drop a link. Give an explanation, copy and paste the relevant information, etc.

News Detective is not responsible for anything anyone posts on the platform.
...