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. Pinkme

    Its kind of funny how the US has the most animal deaths in the google map crap! In my opinion I think that gov. Is doing some kind of experiment...i was reading a blog and it said that the gov. Had sprayed some kind of chemical to some birds to test something and they started to die! I know for a fact that it cant be UFO's, if they were really bad they would of been starting a war along time ago..i dont think they would waste their time trying to kill birds.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I think the ufo thought is more along the lines of the birds flying into a 'cloaked' ship or its 'shields'.

      January 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • hillbilleter

      Well, our government gives the most leeway to the chemical and drug companies. Lobbyists pay good money to shield them.

      January 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jimbo

    Too much information coming at us too fast. That's what's really scary.

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

      I agree with u

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

    What about the HAAARP Project? Government experiments – makes sense.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • orangealli

      I was thinking the same thing!

      January 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sasha D

      Loumar, you are exactly right! I posted two comments on HAARP. It was my first thought when I heard of the redwing blackbirds, then the added animal deaths. Serious stuff.

      January 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Loumar

    Correction folks – I meant HAARP.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mmmmm

    @phil did it..,he has been talking about it for weeks. He spiked the water source and keel everythang!

    January 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DYBO


    January 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. conoclast

    Let's see, birds can't fly if they're sick so that rules out poison...and even if they did fly into a poison spray or something, what about the 'blunt-force trauma'? Verrrrry interrrresting! But I'm just not buying the fireworks scenario; birds can't be such strangers to loud noises. Maybe the Chinese stealth fighter snuck up and zapped 'em with a disruptor ray, hmm?

    January 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sandra LeVin

    So many theories have been floated on this blog and in the media. I personally don't think that this is a sign of "end times" nor do I think G-d is responsible, but am curious to know why there are so many non-believers and so much scoffing at G-d? Just asking . . .

    January 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • hillbilleter

      I'm with you. It seems like atheists have become the most contentious, miserable, party-poopers on the planet. Under any story, you can find comments from unhappy, snitty atheists. I know atheists who are perfectly decent people, but some of those who post give them all a black eye.

      January 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I find it more unbelievable that there are so many believers. I don't really want to start this, but if u do, game on.

      January 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolly lanna

      Scoffing at God? The Bible, God, and religion in general is a story passed down for 6000 years? Religion is the root of misinformation, hatred, blindness to reality, wishful and hopeful thinking and just plain ridiculous. Extreme Religion causes hate and war and really wrong thinking. Be a good person, help others, take care of your health and family and just be nice. God may just be an energy. The Bible is full of nonsense and stupid stories.

      January 7, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chase

    Just playing the devil's advocate. No pun intended.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Melissa

    remember that huge oil spill? What was it that they used to clean it up? Maybe all of these bird and fish deaths are a consequence of that spill and the chemicals used to clean it up? Just a thought. Otherwise, I'm on board with the conspiracy theory....

    January 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. abby

    Looked at the map - way too many in the US - scary. Makes you wonder if something peculiar isn't happening....

    January 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Adrian

    To you people saying god is horrible for killing the birds you guys must have no religious background god created the birds and the bees and what the lord gives the lord shall take! I think it is a sign from god read revaluations its about our time theres to many unexplainable coincidences for me all I know is brace your selfs folks whatevers coming is gonna be big whether its the end or not somethings gonna happen!
    PS, revilations speaks about the 7 seals
    First Seal – Pestilence, White horse(avian flu spanish flu Swine Flu)
    Second Seal – War, Red Horse(Afghanistan, Israel, and soon t be the north and south korea)
    Third Seal – Famine, Black Horse(Mass animal deaths cause what)
    Fourth Seal – Death, Green or Pale Horse
    Fifth Seal – Vision of martyrs(not to sure on this one but think it means witness to mass killings of people of the faith)
    Sixth Seal – Cosmic disturbances: sun turns black, moon turns blood red; sealing of the 144,000
    Seventh Seal – Prelude To The 7 Trumpets of 7 Angels & The Final Judgement
    things take time so if animals start steadily dying and the mark of the beast apears which is some make on the palm or for head im headed to the mountains like it says to do.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolly lanna

      Please stop it. Sorry to get agitated but religious reasoning is non reasoning. Not rational.

      January 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • greg

      PS Adrian you skipped over the 4th seal.. and who qualified you to interprete the breaking of the seals??? Any event through history could qualify for each seal

      O and head to the mountains now why wait since you're so sure. The bible also has jesus will return when no one is expecting.. so you're WRONG nut job.

      January 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coloradoguy

      prove it or or drink your "special" coolade and wait for the mother ship

      January 7, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Talia

      I'm with you!!!!! Amen to that . So many people that feel the things of the Lord are a joke ,but may the Lord have mercy on us all.

      January 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms.Diaz

      @ adrian...thats after the rapture takes place not before...i believe these are the signs jesus told us believers to pay attention to prior to his coming..

      January 9, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. NYCbirds

    You can read the details about how it was US government chemical weapons testing here:

    January 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tekbit

    The Planet Earth has it's OWN agenda. Sorry Oprah..I doubt you will fix it. It is Simple Logic. We, Humans that is (well some of us anyway), are the Dominat Species on a Planet that never did, nor ever will, Tolerate that Arrogance. Being Sentient is obviously not an advantage, as we Destroy everything, even Prior to our Wake.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tekbit

    You can't Change the Future, but you sure can Affect the Past.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
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