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. Mmmmm

    I believe these animals are the spawn of cloned species set loose in the wild, but they go crazy and die...or it could be breaches in our stratophere and these birds hit a dead zone of no oxygen...our air bubble earth is slowly being deflated!

    January 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Daf

    If you look at google maps, the only untouched continent is Africa..

    January 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • mudbone9

      Ah the just eat the evidence there.

      January 8, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. BubbaLuv

    Everybody seem to be puzzled from the blunt trauma to the birds. If the birds was flying 15ft or higher in the air then died or suffocated or what ever happened. The impact to the ground will cause Trauma!!! Does that make sense??? Or am I a Re-Tard?

    January 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. black dude

    @atheiste I no you all really believe in god but just bad mouth him because he don't like gays like urself

    January 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. man

    What if, one "crazy" mindfreak is responsible for this?
    If this is the case what happens next?

    January 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. boogerbear

    i agree with alot of you, if fire works caused it then it would happen every year. but what i think is going on is HAARP. i believe the birds and fish are dying from the same thing, whatever HAARP is testing in the water is evaporating into the atmosphere and killing the birds...just a thought...and besides, even if we do find out whats goin on its still biblical, birdsa are still falling from the sky.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Kudu

    This is a perfect example of the self serving media creating their own story. Freggin press

    January 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Your Average Atheist

    Hurray, Hurray, Hurrah ! This is great news !!!!!!!!

    Satan is coming, Satan is coming !.. I don't have to hear any more damn dribble from christian neighbors, christians on tv, christians on radio, christians on street corners, right wing christians, daily christian emails.....

    Oh my bollix, I can't wait for this. I'm getting goose bumps thinking about it. No more wars where people kill people over beliefs in their gods.

    Who the hell wants to go to heaving and hang out with a bucnh of bible banging weirdos. Take me straight to hell, where I will at least know people. Cmon , Cmon, I'm getting giddy. Lets' get this trip movin. See ya, suckers.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Your Avergae Christian

      Well, then if you feel that way, have fun burning in hell, you will NOT be missed >.<

      January 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Blessed Geek

    I finally got to watch the 2012 movie a few days ago.

    Oliver Platt is a horrigible actor.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. dumb but not dumbest

    What does the pole shift have anything to do with birds flying in the air its like saying there was a earthquake and the birds feel out of the sky sounds dumb huh

    January 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ed Bailey

    What you don't know, the government will NEVER tell you. If you find it out, they will do anything to shut you up. The money men in coporate america want it that way.Ask Ms. Silkwood, or the group of scientist that researched the first noticed SIDS death cluster in the early 60's. They found a reason AND COULD NOT DO ANYTHING about it.its money,honey!

    January 7, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Caleb

    Can't wait to hear what all the moron fundamentalist say about this one.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jorge

    fireworks?? HO HO HO. I dont think so... and you??

    January 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. bjfromnj

    Someone will leak cables to Wikileaks then we'll know what's really causing this.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Ed Bailey

    Let's try this one Cnn.if the mormon fundamentalist can make money off the dead animals, then they take notice and care!

    January 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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