, December 08, 2022

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Animals and their Sixth Sense


  •   5 min reads
Animals and their Sixth Sense
by Mariana Burgos

Have you ever seen your pet freak out about something that you can not seem to know exactly what? There are times when they seem to act strangely and you can not fathom the reason behind it and later on, either an earthquake or a super typhoon happens. There are also times when they act weirdly and then you get a chilling sensation yourself afterwards but you do not see anything around you. Well, sometimes, after the chilling sensation, you see inanimate objects move by themselves. Only then do you realize why your pet was behaving strangely.

Feeling a natural disaster before it happens

On the subject of precise earthquake prediction, experts are divided. Animals, however, appear to be able to predict danger hours in advance. There is proof that a variety of creatures, including fish, birds, and insects, exhibit peculiar behavior before an earthquake. In an effort to improve seismic detectors, scientists are now looking more closely at some animals.

Dogs might see more than you do. Mango, a rescue of Save ALL- Animals of Love and Light Inc., was a very protective dog. Before he died in 2019, he would always warn caretakers of an invisible entity in the garden. He would bark at “someone” near the mango tree, either behind or beside the caretaker. His barks are angry barks, not friendly at all, like he was telling the entity to bug off or leave the caretaker alone. The caretaker will suddenly feel the air grow cold but only beside or behind him.

Animal activity patterns would need to undergo detectable behavioral changes in order to be used as a sort of early warning system for earthquakes. Moreover, the closer one is to the earthquake’s epicentre, the stronger one should react if they do in fact respond to weak physical changes right before an earthquake.

In a recent study, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz/Radolfzell and the Cluster of Excellence Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour at the University of Konstanz fitted motion sensors to cows, sheep, and dogs in earthquake-prone regions of Northern Italy and observed their movements over a period of months. Up to 20 hours prior to an earthquake, the animals became increasingly restless, and the closer they were to the quake’s core, the earlier they started acting strangely. (The Sixth Sense of Animals: An Early Warning System for Earthquakes?, Ma-Planck-Gesellschaft, 6 July 2020)

Although they have a few suggestions, scientists are not entirely clear about how animals can foretell earthquakes. For instance, in earthquake zones, their fur may detect air ionization brought on by high rock pressure. Prior to an earthquake, they might also be able to detect gases emitted by quartz crystals.

A bigger number of animals will need to be watched for longer periods of time and over a larger geographical area before researchers can begin to seriously explore using animal behavior as a trustworthy earthquake predictor.

Ghost sightings by pets have been reported in different parts of the world. (This photo was taken from a Youtube video entitled, “Ghost sighting by pets— Scary and Fascinating Stories of Animals Sensing the Unseen”; uploaded by Undiscovered Worlds, 5 June 2020.)

The international space station’s Icarus global animal observation system will be used in the following phase of the study. The German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Russian space agency Roskosmos, and the European Space Agency are working together on the scientific project Icarus, which is led by Martin Wikelski (ESA). (The Sixth Sense of Animals: An Early Warning System for Earthquakes?, Ma-Planck-Gesellschaft, 6 July 2020)

Animals and their third eye

Many pet owners said their dogs or cats will bark, snarl, stare blankly, or move away from something that cannot be seen to warn them of a supernatural presence. Some responders claimed that when a spirit is close, their cat likewise exhibits flared neck fur.

A number of us have experienced having our dog bark at something we can not see or a cat stops playing and fixes its attention on nothing in a room. Many people seem to think that pets have some kind of a third eye when it comes to the supernatural. Scientists and medical people believe otherwise.

Dogs and cats and many other animals have heightened senses compared to us humans. According to Nicole Ellis, Rover.com’s professional certified dog trainer says, “Dogs don’t have a sixth sense as much as they simply have heightened versions of all of the other five senses. Dogs can pick up on minor changes in the environment, small sounds from down the street, etc. and learn to associate those with certain actions, which could lead to the belief that they can sense things before they happen or at least before humans do.”

Ellis explains that the typical range of human hearing is between 20 hertz and 20 kilohertz, which includes significantly lower frequencies than those that can be heard by dogs. Dogs can hear noises starting at 64 hertz all the way up to 44 kilohertz, which is above the human hearing range.

Sometimes, a cat hisses at no one in particular, or no one a human can see. (Image by greghristov from Pixabay)

Ellis also claims that due to the sophisticated olfactory systems of dogs which enable them to detect scents that people would never notice, dogs are ideally equipped to detect such items. Due to the 300 million olfactory receptors in its nose as opposed to the five or six million in humans, a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000–100,000 times more acute than ours. And this is why there have been cases wherein dogs have detected cancer as well as pregnancy in humans. (Jessica Booth, 5 Spooky Things Your Dog Can Sense That You Can’t, Bustle, 27 June 2019)

We won’t be able to determine for certain whether our pets have in fact experienced anything particularly spooky or echoes from the afterlife. The essential thing to remember is that our pets, especially those who have been a part of our families for a very long time, are wonderful companions. They are bright, devoted, and frequently have skills that are superior to our own. They even shield us from things that seem to be intangible because they love us.

About the Author: Mariana Burgos is a freelance artist. She is a solo parent for 14 years now because she is wife to a desaparacido. She and her daughter are animal lovers and are active in advocating not only human rights but the rights of animals as well.


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