Yellowstone Bison Predicting Earthquake a Hoax

Yellowstone

Last week, a video circulated the Internet showing a herd of bison fleeing Yellowstone National Park because they were predicting a massive earthquake, however, the video has now been confirmed as a hoax. The video was posted and quickly went viral. People began speculating that the bison were fleeing because they sensed a major earthquake or an erupting volcano was about to hit Yellowstone.

In the clip, viewers saw hundreds of bison galloping quickly down a paved road. It was reported that the bison were running out of the park, but those facts were not correct. Yellowstone Park officials say that the bison were really running into the park and they were actually running towards the volcano. This news blows a hole in the theory that animals are fleeing because the super volcano is going to erupt. Yellowstone officials explain that the bison normally wander off the park this time of year to search for land with thawed grass, which is located in warmer elevations. Yellowstone Park officials assure the public that the video was a hoax, and that the bison are not predicting an earthquake will happen or a volcano is going to erupt. Once the land inside the park thaws, the bison will wander back inside the park and live peacefully on top of the dangerous volcano again.

This is not the first time humans have been convinced that animals can detect when natural disasters are about to strike, even though there is no hard evidence that supports this theory. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) website lists examples of various animals reactions just moments before an earthquake, but they are still not convinced that animals can really predict these natural disasters. In 1975, China was hit with a massive earthquake. There were reports that animals were behaving strangely before the earthquake happened. For example, snakes were coming up out of the warm underground and freezing on top of the surface, and mice appeared dazed and unafraid of humans. The USGS speculates that animals may be more sensitive to earthquake waves, but due to the lack of solid evidence, they are still skeptical.

Last month a 4.8 earthquake rocked Yellowstone National Park, the biggest in the last 30 years. No significant damage or deaths were reported. Geologists from the University of Utah confirm that the earthquake hit in the northwest end of the park and has been setting off a series of smaller earthquakes ever since. Earthquakes are not uncommon in the park, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory confirms that about 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes happen in Yellowstone every year.

Yellowstone National Park attracts about 3 million visitors a year, even though it sits on top of a massive super-volcano. People have been concerned about the volcano ever since reports confirmed that the volcano under the park is over two and a half times larger than what experts previously thought. The video of the bison fleeing Yellowstone National Park, because they were predicting an earthquake, certainly hit the internet at the perfect time, but people can now relax knowing that it is only a hoax.

By Sara Petersen
@saraleepetersen

Sources:
UPI
Reuters
The Daily Beast

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