Nature Knows: Trusting Your Instincts

If someone is planning a weekend getaway or has tickets to a baseball game, their first instinct is often to go online and check the weather forecast. If the weather calls for rain or thunderstorms, knowing in advance gives time to take action and either change plans or prepare attire accordingly. Animals don’t have the advantage of Googling the weather. They do, however, have a built-in alert system.

Animals innately know when Nature is about to throw them a curve ball. For example, sharks are known to dive down to deeper water before hurricanes. Crows find a safe branch, lock their claws into it and rest to ride out approaching extreme weather. And farm animals have been known to get agitated and display erratic behaviors up to 20 hours before a storm. There have been many reports of animals—from rats and flamingos to dogs and elephants—that fled their homes when they sensed danger before an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, or volcanic eruption. According to National Geographic, before the 2005 tsunamis in Sri Lanka, “Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground. Dogs refused to go outdoors. Flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas. Zoo animals rushed into shelters and could not be enticed to come back out.”

Meteorologists use advanced weather equipment to predict changes in weather patterns, some of which may indicate an impending natural disaster. However, this equipment is not always accurate and often doesn’t provide enough lead time to warn people to evacuate or take shelter. Some might argue that animals have their own innate early warning system. So how is it that animals—both wild and domesticated—know when something is about to happen in Nature?

It is well-known that animals have keen senses. This is what allows them to escape predators, find food, mate, and survive in the wild. Some scientists believe that animals sense changes in air or water pressure before a natural disaster. Others believe that animals can feel Earth’s vibrations and hear infared changes in the earth during earthquakes and hurricanes. Regardless of the science behind it, when animals sense danger, they trust their instincts and react.

Humans have become so dependent on outside sources that they lose sight of their own innate gifts and connection to Nature. In some ways, we are not as advanced as animals—creatures that are connected to and reliant on the earth and its provisions. How incredible would it be if we were to tune those antennas and heighten our connection to Nature once again? What would we learn about ourselves and this world we live in?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]