Dog senses California Earthquake Before it Happens

From NBC Bay Area:

Aftershocks are a still a big concern in the Northern California region two days after a 6.5 magnitude quake caused millions of dollars of property damage in Humboldt County.

Cameras captured the quake but one particular piece of footage is getting a lot of attention. Scroll down and check out the clip from a security camera at the the Times Standard in Eureka. It shows a dog named Sophie who appears to feel the earthquake before it hits.

The Labrador is lying on the floor just hanging out in the newsroom. She sniffs the floor a bit then she hops up and bolts across the room and out of frame.

A few seconds later, the camera shakes as the quake rocks the building. The shot then shows drawers sliding out and debris dropping from the ceiling as people run from the room.

Sophie did a lap around the room trying to find her owner. They both made it out of the building safely.

(via Arbroath)


  1. Earthquakes are more or less ‘land-waves’ or so I’ve heard, so perhaps the dog was able to hear the destruction at the epi-center before the wave reached their location? Or do they travel faster than sound?

    I suppose the other option would be the ground vibrating ever so slightly before wave hits, in the same way a tsunami can be predicted by the water receding due to the pressure of the incoming wave.

    Here’s an interesting article:

  2. The dog first moves at 0:07 s. Two seconds later the bearded guy swivels his chair, three seconds after that he’s up too.

    They both felt the earthquake at the same time. The dog panicked before the human. The vibration wasn’t visible on the camera, but it was there.

    Nobody felt the earthquake “before it happened”. C’mon, a little cynicism is called for here!

    PS – for J. Allen: Earthquake waves travel much faster than air waves.

    1. I thought the same thing. I think the fact that the guy is hidden behind the pillar adds to the appearance of a late reaction. Magic Dog Theory is suspect.

  3. Growing up in So. Cal one of our cats would key us in to earthquakes, again probably felt the vibration before we did but the cat would hunker down all the way on the ground and speed crawl across the room and jump in my dad’s lap. Did this for at least 3 different earthquakes.
    The dog I’m sure felt it before beardo, or heard the building/concrete creaking, before the humans did. No cynicism needed.

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