China Uses Snakes to Predict Earthquakes.

Scientists in China said that snakes make better earthquake monitors than fancy-pants equipments:

Scientists said the serpents can sense a quake from 120km (75 miles) away, up to five days before it happens.

They respond erratically, even smashing into walls to escape, scientists said.

"Of all the creatures on the Earth, snakes are perhaps the most sensitive to earthquakes," Jiang Weisong, director of the earthquake bureau in Nanning, told The China Daily.

The reptiles respond by behaving extremely erratically, he said.

"When an earthquake is about to occur, snakes will move out of their nests, even in the cold of winter. If the earthquake is a big one, the snakes will even smash into walls while trying to escape," he told the newspaper.

So, instead of seismographs, the Chinese simply set up video systems monitoring snake nests! Link

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Snakes don't have external ears, they actually use their bellies to pick up vibrations on the ground. So an impending earthquake must "sound" like the equivalent of someone slowly turning the volume up on a staticky radio to an ear-shattering cacaphony. Not to mention, it probably gives them one whopper of a case of bellyache...

Heck, if I felt like that I'd smash into a wall to get away from the discomfort, myself! ;-)

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