Red ants predict earthquakes

A three-year study in Germany concluded that red ants could predict earthquakes.

Picture 1 of Red ants predict earthquakes
The ant nests are in research in Germany. (Photo: Gabriele Berberich)

For three years, Gabriele Berberich, a scientist from Duisburg-Essen University (Germany) and colleagues, has been monitoring ants in Germany continuously with a video camera, using special software to list changes in their operation. There were 10 earthquakes between 2.0 and 3.2 and many smaller matches during the study period from 2009 to 2012.

The monitoring results show that during the day, ant colonies are busy with their activities and rest in the nest at night, like the pattern of human activities. But before an imminent earthquake, the ants woke up all night, outside their nest and were likely to be invaded by enemies."Ants don't return to normal until one day after the earthquake," Berberich said.

Why do ants know an upcoming earthquake? Ms Berberich speculated that it was possible that insects could detect gas vapor changes or the shift of the earth's magnetic field thanks to their special organs.

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