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. Chase

    @Dr. Jeremy: OF COUSRE, because if it's ONLINE in ALL CAPITALS that PROVES BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT that it MUST BE TRUE! Remember china wouldn't let outsiders in for along time, you are on NO (see how I did that) authority to say that it has absolutely never happened before.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Paul


    January 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chase

    @Paul: I agree.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Anna-Karin

    Please do something to stop vad NASA is doing to mother earth. I think this is the explain to all the fish and bird's death! Have we efford to continiue!?? Many people know what's goinig on but no one talk about it.
    we have to stick together and do something about this otherwise we don't have anything to eat or to grow on.
    And it's now...not later!!!

    "HAARP Boils the Upper Atm...osphere

    HAARP will zap the upper atmosphere with a focused and steerable electromagnetic beam. It is an advanced model of an "ionospheric heater." (The ionosphere is the electrically-charged sphere surrounding Earth's upper atmosphere. It ranges between 40 to 60 miles above the surface of the Earth.)
    Put simply, the apparatus for HAARP is a reversal of a radio telescope; antenna send out signals instead of receiving. HAARP is the test run for a super-powerful radiowave-beaming technology that lifts areas of the ionosphere by focusing a beam and heating those areas. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto earth and penetrate everything - living and dead. "

    January 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. look at what he said

    The birds got hit by a klingon k-tinga cruiser while it was firing its weapons at a romulan warship. lol

    January 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. samantha

    ive been reading through as many comments as i can but havent come across anyone mentioning that its almost 2012!! maybe this is all leading up to something..

    January 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conner

      Right... Some insidious forces are plotting against us. They have strategically taken out our forward observers ie: fish and birds... Squirrels could be next!!!

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

    And you know what happens after December 21, 2012... December 22, 2012! REPENT!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chase

    I'm thinking about getting the biggest loan I can, because we all KNOW what's gonna happen. Party in Vegas! On me!

    January 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Conner

    I love it when people, because they have never heard of an event like this happening, jump to insane conclusions about the end of the world or other such nonsense... Do some friggin research people. These types of die-offs happen all the time from a huge variety of factors... Some animal species are not nearly as adaptable as say primates and even a small change in their environment can have drastic consequences... Pull your heads out of your collective azzes!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cassie

    2012 is near..

    January 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conner

      Yep, little under a year away... Your point>?

      January 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chase

    @thad: Citation Needed.

    January 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cover up?

    Can't believe when this story originally broke experts were saying this happened because of loud noises (i.e. new years fireworks). Reminds me of Brick Tamland, "LOOOUUUDDD NOISES!"

    January 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conner

      You ever see what a dog or cat does when confronted by a loud noise that may be alien to them? They flip out. Think about it a little bit...

      January 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CDanbury

    So the last sentence in the article states...“Until the sky turns red and there’s a plague of locusts, this event is not that unusual,” Sleeman said of the blackbirds."

    Would someone like to address the plague of locusts in China, that they are trying to get rid of with frogs...or how about it raining blood in India, in which scientist have found cells that can stand up 600 degrees and still remain active..Come on what is it gonna take..We have already seen the Aliens in broad daylight in New York, yet they are saying there are no dots to connect with the animal deaths. Think about the food chain..if they are dying who's next?

    January 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conner

      If you bothered to look a little further you would see these types of events are not unheard of... Stop taking everything for face value you worthless sheep!

      January 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Human

    Hello world,

    its was interesting reading all your thoughts, comments and jokes. I am a young female and hail from a small island in the south pacific. We as a polynesian community see things differently. dead birds? fish? most raised question in the world at the moment. i just want to share with you MY thoughts... Science vs Religion ? Scientist beleive that it was natural causes, gas, heat, pollution, poison , Aliens? etc... but if it is... why one type of fish/bird all at once? eg. 5000 drum fish in one state etc... there is a pattern behind the chosen states/countries of where all this has happend. RELIGION : read a chapter from the bible ( "bible" written by ONE , transaled by many ) read HOSEA. you will find your ANSWERS. Sorry science but AGAIN God bet you to this. Till this day... scientist still can not come up with the RIGHT answers, and yet, the answer was written more than 10,000 years ago by GOD. If it is the end of the world that some of you THINK or JOKE or WISH it is...then the question comes up, what can we do to stop it??? ANSWER is simply this.... NOTHING!! and it wont take any rocket scientist to figure that out. My advise to you my dear friends...HAVE FAITH. faith can move mountains, you will be amazed to what faith can do. BELEIVE, beleive in the Lord your God, only HE will save you. beleive in yourself, because God created you, NOT science. I have so many questions i would LOVE to ask the SMARTEST scientist here. I will challenge your text book with my bible. No offense to all scientist ...i come from a family of many scientist so i am neutral. I appreciate and thank all your inventions, medicines to cure, ideas, and answers to deadly deceases... but have you ever thought about how you came that far? i know it was education, but seriously, was there ever a point in life, u tried so hard to achieve something and you almost gave up...but for some reason u conqured? that was HIM whispering to you. Some will not accept this but you have your own free will so i respect that. Please thank him and tell him you love him , thats all he wants to hear.... My fellow freinds who have the oppurtunity to beleive in GOD, please do pray for all souls on earth, pray for the world on ones behalf. we can do this, we will soon all meet in "PARADISE" If you need help or more understanding, or want to know things that will HELP you and will SURPRISE are most welcome to reply to this comment. We are all ONE soul in different bodies. think a minute. You can laugh at my comment, joke about it, accuse me or what not. But this is me, my freedom of speech, my right to religion and thoughts, my belief. AND FOREVER I WILL STAND TO WHAT I BELEIVE IN. May everyone have a change of heart. to all my family of scientist, may god bless u and your hard work. PEACE AND LOVE =)

    January 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cover up?

      'Spose you don't believe in evolution either huh?

      January 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conner

      Island dwellers... move along... Nothing to see here.

      January 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Human

      i told you.. it is going to be a battle of Science vs Religion. oh and to help all those who are in fear of judgement day, or people scaring you about it with their predictions...dont worry, "EVEN THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN DO NOT KNOW THE LORDS DAY" so all predictions are wrong.

      January 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      oh Connor lol lol

      January 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe Bob

    I think it was kids playing with BB guns again. This happens around my house every time there is a sale on BB guns at the Piggly Wiggly.

    January 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-MAN

      This is me clicking the "LIKE" button

      January 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
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