How do animals predict earthquakes

According to scientists, reptiles and amphibians feel slight changes in the chemical composition of water and soil, which occur before the shocks due to the partial destruction of rocks.In 2009, the toads were able to predict an earthquake in the Italian province of L'Aquila. (Photo forbesimages.)

Every one knows the story of how the animals to their unusual behavior predicted earthquake. Especially in this sense differ groundwater, aquatic and semi-aquatic like a reptile, amphibian and fish species. One relatively recent similar cases — the mass exodus of snakes to shocks in Haychene in 1975. A month before the disaster snake crawled out of the norm, and it was so strange that it was winter in the yard, that is the time when reptiles are supposed to be in deep hibernation.
But each of these episodes usually had remained just a curious anecdote. Study of the animals before the earthquake, in order to understand the reasons for the described behavior is difficult: large earthquakes are relatively rare, and seismologists predict a mixed success. However, in one case, luck still smiled researchers. We are talking about the earthquake in L'Aquila, which occurred two years ago. Shortly before that, the local toad every one left the water. This led scientists to believe that before the earthquake changed the composition of groundwater and soil water in the first place can be felt just by those who live in caves and in water.A team of scientists from the U.S. and Europe, in an article published in the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, explains the phenomenon. Earthquake has a certain period of training, during which the earth's rock layers may experience strain due to growing pressure to break down, etc. This is not a full-fledged earthquake, but the destruction and deformation of rock lead to the release of certain chemicals. Coming out into the open, they react with the air and cause the appearance in it of positively charged ions. These ions themselves can influence the state of living organisms, in particular be the cause of headaches or nausea or to stimulate the release of serotonin into the bloodstream. At the same time, getting in the water, the charged air particles contribute to the emergence of oxygen radicals in it — very aggressive compounds that damage biomolecules.Amphibians feel the changes in the chemical composition of water and prefer the time to get out of the pond. The same thing may have snakes and lizards, but reptiles, most of this, deal directly with the gaseous ions in the air. So minor shifts in the earth's crust, the previous earthquake, allow animals to predict catastrophe.To confirm their hypothesis, researchers conducted a series of laboratory experiments, however, in their words, the work in this area will no doubt continue. Perhaps animals have several ways to find out about the impending disaster. And it is possible that in the future, chemical detectors will inform us about the earthquake better than frogs or snakes.Cyril Stasevich
Prepared according to the Bi-bi-si.


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