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. rob0334

    UNBELIEVIBLE!!!! No one has mention of the recent Tampa Airtport shutdown due to the polar shift? Oops, I guess we might as well add that to the list of events, lol....BTW: Make sure to buy GOLD & SILVER so that I can profit, LMAO

    January 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      I mentioned it a page or two back...

      January 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brady

    January 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chase

    No rob, remember, this has to be god. so he caused the poles to shift. and everything else. A sign from god is like watching Helen Keller doing sign language. Either she doesn't know what shes's doing, or you're speaking adifferent language

    January 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Theno23

    The majority of the deaths look like they follow the pattern of the gulf spill – just moved inland a bit (birds do fly). Currents from the gulf flow around Florida, up the east coast and the across the Atlantic to... you guessed it... where more fish and birds are dying in Europe.

    January 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. black dude

    I did see something about the water all over the USA was causing cancer

    January 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chase

    Nope, it's God. Science has absolutely no answers, and I know, because I watch TV. Medical journals, published and corroberated evidence, and Stephen hawking be damned!

    January 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dylan

      If this is God doing this then he's/she's is horrible to kill innocent animals...FOR NO REASON!

      January 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chase

    You guys are ridiculous. I'm going to go protest with the Stephen King killed John Lennon guy.

    January 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chase

    They would probably point our its less likely to happen in July seeings they wouldn't roost as close. But hey, who knows.

    January 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. WHAT IF?????


    January 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dylan

      Then God is rotten to kill innocent animals.

      January 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • janetrmarin

      It very well may be, however what about the BP oil spill? They dumped tons of dispersments that were very hazardous. The dispersments may have killed the fish and evaporated to kill the birds. Then maybe this was in GOD's plan. I don't know.

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

      GOD loves all of us, read your Bible and find out. GOD created all and all he can take away if he pleases.

      January 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • mahdeealoo

      If you trace it back far enough, yes. But you have to go through lots of government experiments along the route.

      January 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chase

    I refuse to live life on a "what if?" scenario.

    January 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kerry

    sure looks like a vible thing
    i third of everything is suposed to be destroyed.
    damm. poor birds. i like birds to

    January 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. janetrmarin

    Has anyone suspected BP?

    January 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. anonymous

    Magnetic pole shift may be to blame:

    Makes more sense to me than the "fireworks scared the birds" story.

    January 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      yes! I'm glad more are mentioning it in this forum.
      you are the SECOND person to mention it besides me which makes three of us.
      where are the rest?

      January 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      "makes more sense" o_O

      What color is the sun in your world?

      January 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mahdeealoo

      Trauma to the breast area does not seem like magnetic effect, but rather physical shock of some nature.
      H A A R P can be aimed anywhere.

      January 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. just a thought

    beware the wrath of god for he will smite u, but he loves u

    January 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • hillbilleter

      Jis like yor mama

      January 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. michael

    Earthquake in San Jose California at 4:10 PM PST Friday 01-7-11, today. Felt like 2.0 to a 4.0, something very small, but but real. Any official news on this? Where was the center? What was the exact recter scale?

    January 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • kerry

      go here

      January 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
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