Shelter Dogs Predicted the Illinois Earthquake

Earthquake Illinois
(Photo Credit: Anita Knot | Getty Images)

3.6 magnitude earthquake struck Standard, Illinois at 4:42 a.m on Nov. 15, 2023, per NBC-affiliate 5 Chicago. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), this “light” earthquake hit approximately 100 miles from Chicago.

Dogs sensed the earthquake

According to Illinois Valley’s Shaw Local News Network, dogs housed Illinois Valley Animal Rescue in La Salle knew something was up immediately. “I have goosebumps,” the facility’s executive director, Chris Tomsha said after reviewing the surveillance footage of the Illinois earthquake. “At 4:41 a.m. they were all howling – then about five seconds of dead silence – and then at 4:42 a.m., barking and howling.”

A 2020 report in Scientific American stated that most animals have the ability to predict earthquakes. Animals’ “activity significantly increased” before earthquakes if they were confined into small spaces.

Meaning, the stress the shelter dogs were already under heightened their ability to sense the oncoming earthquake. However, some in the scientific community are skeptical of this theory. “My cat could act crazy before an earthquake,” geologist Wendy Bohon said. “But my cat also acts crazy if somebody uses the can opener.”

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