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. hillbilleter

    If these deaths were the result of sudden weather change or fireworks, then why is it not a common occurrence? Why do we not find fields of dead animals every winter, after tornadoes, and after all major celebrations and after sonic booms created by aircraft? We would be knee-deep in fish and birds every New Year's Day, Fourth of July, Mardi Gras, or you-name-it. They'll have to actually try to find the reason if they want to remain credible.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Doomsday

    What R we afraid of ? Yes we are all appointed to die once after that the judgement. And yes the world will end one day and a new one created. This is the whole purpose of the holiday we just celebrated called CHRISTMAS. If we are living the way our LORD tells us to live then we as CHILDREN OF GOD have nothing to worry about. Finally....there is something strange happening out there but the truth will cause panic.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • sandra c

      Hosea 4:1-6

      January 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    I think it depends on the moon.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tekbit

    Too bad Mulder and Scully were not here. This is an X-File if I ever saw one.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |

    What if this is the worlds most organized and elaborate prank? This could be even bigger than the guy that got himself pregnant.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tekbit

    I figured it out..All the Tweets and Twitters have driven the Birds to Suicide!

    January 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sasha D

    It's HAARP. Look it up. Bad juju.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sasha D

    It's HAARP. Google it. I you don't already know of it, you will be surprised.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolly lanna

      John WHEELER INFO:
      Dahlgren, Va High-power directed energy can also be used as a weapon. RDT&E of directed energy devices is a dynamic field at Dahlgren.
      Va High-power directed energy can also be used as a weapon. RDT&E of directed energy devices is a dynamic field at Dahlgren.

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

    I was pointed look at and think about H A A R P as a distinct possibility. Look around and decide for yourself. Too bad, the birds pictured are only yearling red wing blackbirds, living in the countrysides and not city dwellers. Sad.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Edward Nashville, TN

    Something odd is going on and no one seems to take it serious. I think it could be related to the shift in polls, changing weather patterns, toxic waste, chemical or biological weapons, polution...who knows.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cissy

    I can't believe that people want to hear or see this stuff. Take better care of the planet and things will be better. Every person makes a difference in that.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms.Diaz

      @ cant change bible matter how much we "try" to make the world a better place its not gonna happen...these things must happen...and if youre not saved then i feel sorry for you..just sayin..

      January 9, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sandra LeVin

    Yes, I feel sad for the birds who died as well, poor things.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. black dude

    Here is a thought. God is takeing the good out before the war of good and evil starts. Hey its in the bible you better believe

    January 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MC

    Dear CNN,

    This lovely fluff response to a troubling series of events is pathetic. There are some of us who do not believe that the end is near nor do we subscribe particularly to victim minded conspiracy theories. However, to dismiss, oh pardon me, explain, the sudden death of 5000 birds away as the result of FIREWORKS? Stop the madness. Facile articles like this one that look to maintain the status quo and negate legitimate questions posed by curious people is truly sad. Safe maybe. But sad. Would it kill anyone in your offices to consider that this is a problem worth investigating SCIENTIFICALLY? Ridiculing citizens who simply want to dig deeper and who are unsatisfied with patronizing answers to their questions is just as narrow minded as running for cover until the Four Horsemen appear.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      The four horsemen are at a gallop at the present...its a composite sighn..look around , We have Been in the TIME OF THE END for some time now......Its like in Noahs day, when it started to rain...nobody new what was goin on , and it rained for fourty days... they laughed a Noah because this fool was building and ark that took 40 years... things were fine durring those fourty years too (badness was abundant thou) like today...

      January 8, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sasha D

    When you have a chance, look up the description of the HAARP project. It a High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program focusing on ionospheric research. A high power radio transmitter IRI (Ionic Research Instrument) used to temporarily exicte a limited area of the ionosphere. These signals may be pulsed or continuous. This project is funded by the US government and others. There is more than one HAARP station currently.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • dolly lanna

      Related to HAARP is the Weapons testing at Dhalgren, Va AFB. read about the Railgun and google Dhalgren,Va AFB and see what goes on there. Describes a weapon that makes a boom and destroys (without evidence) what it is aimed at. Blunt Trauma. What I read was from 2008 so by now it would be more advanced and need testing. DOD missile shield is the goal.

      January 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
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