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No. 6: February 1979

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Positive Ion Emission Before Earthquakes May Affect Animals

Both folklore and modern observations are emphatic that many animals become agitated prior to earthquakes. Cats car-ry their kittens outdoors; cattle panic in their barns; dogs bark for no apparent reason; and even some humans become restless. Tributsch notes that similar behaviors also accompany certain weather situations, such as the Alpine foehn and Near East sharav, which are characterized by high concentrations of positive ions. The unusual "fogs" and luminous displays preceding some earthquakes may also have electrical origins. In essence, Tributsch has reviewed many earthquake precursors and suggests that most can be explained in terms of positive ion emission from the earth due to pre-quake strains.

(Tributsch, Helmut; "Do Aerosol Anomalies Precede Earthquakes?" Nature, 276: 606, 1978.)

Reference. Even humans are sensitive to "earthquake weather." See Section GQW in: Earthquakes, Tides. Unidentified Sounds. More information on this Catalog volume here.

From Science Frontiers #6, February 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987