Friday, December 31, 2004

How did the animals survive?

One of the most interesting sidelights to the southern Asia tsunami tragedy - though it feels a bit strange to be writing (and reading) about sidelights to this awful story (120,000 deaths and counting)- is that many animals in Sri Lanka somehow managed to get to higher ground and avoid the tsunamis. No animal corpses have been found among the dead. Did a "sixth sense" enable these animals to sense the impending tidal waves?

According to Christine Kenneally in Slate, "animals have sensory abilities different from our own, and they might have tipped them off to Sunday's disaster." Maybe they heard the quakes before the tsunamis reached shore. Or sensed ground vibrations (known in the scientific community as Rayleigh Waves).

Interesting stuff. So if you live near water and see your dog running for the hills, maybe you should follow him or her.