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No. 1: September 1977

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Animal Behavior Prior To The Haicheng Earthquake

The catastrophic Chinese Haicheng earthquake of 1975 was preceded by many reports of unusual animal behavior. Beginning in December 1974, lay observers noted dazed rats and snakes that appeared to be "frozen" to the roads. In February, reports of this type increased markedly, including observations of general restlessness and agitation of the larger animals, such as cows and horses. Rats now appeared as if drunk. Chickens refused to enter their coops and geese frequently took to flight.

Chinese scientists seem convinced that such animals behavior might help predict some of the larger earthquakes. Further research is being undertaken at the Institute of Biophysics in Peking and at Peking University.

(Molnar, Peter, et al; "Prediction of the Haicheng Earthquake," Eos, 58:254, 1977.)

From Science Frontiers #1, September 1977. 1977-2000 William R. Corliss