Mass animal deaths scrutinized as Google map cites numerous incidents
The deaths of 5,000 blackbirds in Arkansas is one of several recent instances of mass animal deaths across the world.
January 7th, 2011
01:06 PM ET

Mass animal deaths scrutinized as Google map cites numerous incidents

Five thousand blackbirds in Arkansas. One hundred pelicans near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Three hundred doves in Italy. Seventy bats in Tucson, Arizona. Thousands of fish in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil and the United States.

Google is now hosting a map of incidents of mass animal deaths around the world. Google Maps' distinctive blue balloons indicate where the deaths took place. Click on a balloon, and the map provides you with a link to a news report on the incident.

As of Friday afternoon, there were about 30 cases pinpointed on the search engine's mapping site, most of them in the U.S. and Europe.

Some might say it's getting spooky - and not just by conspiracy theorist standards - but experts tell CNN Radio that theories of UFOs and secret government weapons are, naturally, far-fetched.

In the case of the Arkansas blackbirds, wildlife buffs have said that a loud noise or other event may have precipitated the blunt-force trauma that killed the birds. Of all the notions about their deaths, Susie Kesielke, curator of birds at the Los Angeles Zoo, believes the theory that fireworks startled the birds is the most plausible.

“Blackbirds roost communally in the wintertime, and they sleep more soundly than most animals,” Kesielke said, adding that the birds were shocked awake and extremely disoriented.

Jonathan Sleeman, director of the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, said his office has investigated 16 mass bird deaths in the past 20 years.

“This is a bit unusual but not unique,” he explained. “Most of the cases involved pesticides or poison ingested by the birds, but trauma has also been found to be the cause of mass bird deaths."

Good to know experts aren't buying that Armageddon is upon us. Offering even more comfort is the blog Universe Today, which suggests that the deaths aren't so much strange as they are "a symptom of the digital age where news travels faster than you can say, 'The End is Nigh.' "

It cites a Time magazine article that details several strange mass animal deaths and wonders "if the internet age allows us to connect the dots where there are none to be connected."

As for connecting dots, the blog suggests that the map on Google could be laid on top of a "current global oil exploration map to test the hypothesis that the deaths could have been caused by ground-penetrating tomography."

In any case, it seems level heads are prevailing for now - at least until scads of humans succumb to spontaneous combustion.

“Until the sky turns red and there’s a plague of locusts, this event is not that unusual,” Sleeman said of the blackbirds.

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Filed under: Animals • Arkansas • Google • Science • Technology
soundoff (748 Responses)
  1. günhan

    bu iş havai fişek işine benzemiyor büyük bir ihtimalle deney yapılıyor

    January 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chase

    I would wear a lead hat, tinfoil could amplify the effect...

    January 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chase

    Wait... Voodoo. Cholera got in our water, killed the fish, the birds either ate the fish, or the cholera mutated and became aireborne. and of course Voodoo caused the cholera.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Derp

    you know how animals seem to sense disaster before it happens?

    wanna know why they can do that?

    they have lived through it countless times, they have seen civilizations rise and fall. they choose death instead of what will happen to every one of us.

    the time is near for HIM to rise

    January 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      rise already

      January 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TKING

    I THINK ALL OF THESE DEATHS ARE RELATED TO THE METEORITE SHOWER....NO ONE HAS SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE METEORITE SHOWER...AND IT THERE WAS A BIG ONE WHEN ALL OF THESE ANIMALS POPPED UP DEAD....

    January 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. larrywi

    I don't ever recall anything like this being reported, and I'm 62 yrs old!!

    January 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chase

    @TKING: Your caps lock button is stuck.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TKING

    NO NOT REALLY....NO ONE EVER SAID U HAD TO LIKE IT...DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE BETTER TO TALK ABOUT YOU WISE ASS

    January 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sandra

    The earths polarity is shifting. IMO this is what caused the deaths.
    in the tampa tribune you can find it they had to close down the airport to repaint the numbers due to the polar shift.
    It is now shifting towards russia at 40 km a day vs the 10-11 km a day which is faster than it's been in many years.
    research this and open your eyes....
    or not.

    🙂 proud geek.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Bob

      I can see Russia from my back yard.

      January 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Push

    Man if you look @ the Map most the kill offs are Fish must be hell for the below the waves! not to mention the price of fish, whitch is about to do a Triple Double.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sandra

    The earths polarity is shifting. IMO this is what caused the deaths.
    in the tampa tribune you can find it they had to close down the airport to repaint the numbers due to the polar shift.
    It is now shifting towards russia at 40 km a day vs the 10-11 km a day which is faster than it's been in many years.
    research this and open your eyes....
    or not.

    proud geek.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. the truth

    LMAO! Any idiot can get a doctorate degree these days! Just type in PhD online degree! You can finish the program in less than 3 years! yep! 1.5 years of Bachelors... then 3 years of PhD!!! and the program is accredited!!! Interestingly... society has changed so quickly that a doctorate is meaningless. A few years ago, you could even get a MD online!!! Yep! a medical degree online!!! Now... you can get a doctor of physical therapy, doctor of psychology, etc online! So want to become a clinical psychologist? Just take a course online!

    January 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      very true. 🙂

      January 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • the truth

      I forgot to mention... you can also get a JD online! Yep! Call yourself a LAWYER in just 3 years of online education!!! A Nursing degree online!!! Call yourself a NURSE! Sadly... there's no PhD in Pathetic Loser 😦 Thank you liberal activists!

      January 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sandra

    must I post this to get everyones attention for the third time?

    The earths polarity is shifting. IMO this is what caused the deaths.
    in the tampa tribune you can find it they had to close down the airport to repaint the numbers due to the polar shift.
    It is now shifting towards russia at 40 km a day vs the 10-11 km a day which is faster than it's been in many years.
    research this and open your eyes....
    or not.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-MAN

      Thank you Sandra! And yes I read it all three times. lol. But the news isn't trying to tell us that it was caused by polar shifts. They keep saying that it was fireworks though.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      because the news always lies

      January 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jael

    These are the early signs of the 2012 apocolypse the end is near

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWVu0D-FbCc&w=640&h=360]

    January 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      I don't think the end of the world is near I just think the polars are shifting since they are long overdue.
      it could be 10 years from now, it could be next week but regardless it has shifted to the point it's affected an actual airport.
      Please look up tampa tribune-closed airport-polar shift closed air port.
      google it.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chase

    Lol, all caps locks messages remind me of a mad 12 year old saying "Look at me!" instead of trying to have arational discussion. Automatically making whatever is in the message irrelevant because that person couldn't come up with something that no one has thought of before.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
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