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. Rob

    Salamanders in Central America as well as frogs and toads, are mysteriously declining. Read more here

    January 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bob

    or its just a fairy tail and it wont ever happen...

    January 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nexus

    Armageddon is upon us! Repent or ye shall perish....

    Jesus Christ is your savior....

    Muslims and Jews need not apply!

    January 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • crystal

      Thats a cruel thing to say . The scriptures say that God is NOT patial but in every nation tthe man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him. Of course it must be gods rightousness and not our own determination of whats right and whats wrong. Acts 10:34 I think some make hateful comments to turn others away from the Christ.

      January 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • jane of the jungle

      Doe it also not say judge lest thee be judged as thou has judged others? who got you the magic wand to say that kind of stuff? lordy take your meds the voices in your head lie

      January 9, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • jane of the jungle

      Doe it also not say judge not lest thee be judged as thou has judged others? who got you the magic wand to say that kind of stuff? lordy take your meds the voices in your head lie

      January 9, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Danna T.

    Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly..... the beatles

    January 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      You really didn't need to say 'The Beatles'

      January 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Greg Schafer

    It's Bush's Fault....let's blame him...

    January 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Schafer

      On a more serious note, might this incident have anything to do with the sudden and drastic shifting of the magnetic poles that shut down airports in Florida; seeing that birds navigate due to these poles and the shifting might have disorientated them, causing shock.

      January 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Nikki

    I am willing to bet that if everyone took one day to really think about the earth we live on and how we affect itwith every single thing we do, we would not be in this situation at all. I think this is simply the results of what we have done to the earth, maybe we can change it and save it, but maybe not.

    January 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms.Diaz

      @ nikki..and im willing to put my life on it that you are so wrong!!! you cant change bible prophecy..sorry..

      January 9, 2011 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. i rock

    @dog......thats great. Why does it have to be blackbirds?? why not LarryBird?

    January 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Veterano_PR

    no one believes that this is in the book of Revelation????!!!

    January 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms.Diaz

      yes!!! this boricua right here does!!!! these are the signs jesus told us believers to pay attention to prior to his coming..

      January 9, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. robotics

    From the look of the google maps link, its amazingly clear its either the Russians, or the Chinese. or both.

    Or, the whole event is fully explainable, and people jump to conclusions to quickly. i haven't decided yet.

    January 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JLost

    is the world coming to an end or something...birds falling from the sky, fish showing up on shore, half of australia flooding, floods in brazil..What is going on?

    January 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • crystal

      The scriptures say most people would riducle the signs saying where is this promise presense of his saying all things are continuing the same as they were. Dont listen to the riduclers.

      January 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. crystal

    Jesus gave the sign of his invisible presense and the end of the system. He said it would pccur in one generation. We are living in the generation Jesus spoke of, in fact we are at the very end of that generation. The scriptures say in Luke 21: verse 10 that one of the signs would be FEARFULL Sights and from heaven great signs. And in Luke 21: 25 nd 26 It says anguish of nations not knowing the way out while mens hearts become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth . Some of the so called experts of theology said that the sign dosen't mention birds falling out of heaven or the sky. It dosen't have to give details about every specific event, Fearfull sights and from heaven great signs speaks for itself. Massive bird and fish deaths are NOT NORMAL. The massive global deaths are being downplayed. Why is our wildlife being downplayed and the bees, frogs, bats, and other things disappearing hardly mentioned in the news? it couldnt be because of big buisness and money could it! Our water soil and air is polluted and continues to be polluted more and more. The agencys that are suppose to look after our environment turns their heads while oil , fracking, pesticides and chemicals rule. Gmo food ,human growth harmones fed to animals to make them bigger faster and cause much suffering for them those things only touch on the horrors done to this planet for money. And then humans ask why is everything dying?

    January 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms.Diaz

      amen crystal!!!!!!!!!!!! great answer!!!!!

      January 9, 2011 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rob

    nothing says " The End is Near" quite like blunt force trauma

    January 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • crystal

      You are blind.

      January 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sergej

    it is like whales are dying.But I do not see sparrows in parks,streets .They disappeared!!!Animals are dying.People are destroying Earth!!!!So think about nature

    January 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kate

    Would someone please do some journalism and find out how many birds died in the same manner in recent history? And before that, and before that? How often does this type of thing happen? why can't news outlets ask the questions that need to be answered?

    January 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms.Diaz

      @ kate...this type of thing has NOT happened...since when have you heard of huuuuge numbers of different animals dying at around the same time in different places around the havent..

      January 9, 2011 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
    • J.G.

      Yep, certainly hasn't happened before.

      750,000 birds dropping out of the sky for several square miles in the early 1900s? Didn't happen.

      15 million fish dead at Chesapeake in 1976, and a smaller number in 1980? Didn't happen.

      Thousands of birds and fish dying every single year in similar incidents that usually never get any coverage, with five billion birds dying yearly in the US? No, no, that simply doesn't happen.

      Wake up, you delusional imbecile.

      January 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Info

    Please take a moment to look at this as well as New World Order obvisouly NOW can not be proved as a fact but it interesting to read. As for the link these are FACTS its just not well advertised because well not alot of people know. I do not believe this is the end of the world but a power struggle against the elite and the common people.

    January 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
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