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. crystal

    global disaster map

    January 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Reggie

    Crops in Australia threatened by locust plague of Biblical proportion:

    Lunar eclipse 2010: Moon goes dark red for rare total eclipse on winter solstice:

    January 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. nikki mo

    massive global animal deaths are being downplayed–we need the birds & bee's
    i dont care what the experts say–i feel the truth is being covered

    January 8, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sherlock Holmes

    *Sits back and puffs pipe*
    I do believe that the so-called "blunt force trauma" was probably sustained when the birds hit the ground. Your organs would be pretty messed up, too if you fell out of the sky.

    January 9, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Roses

    Personally I think it may be gases released from a pressure buildup at our core and escaping at various 'stress points'. I know Volcano's release these poisonous gases prior to a lot of eruptions. The birds are like 'The Canary in the Cave' as are the fish.
    The incidences in Australia can be discounted as they are explained by our extraordinary flooding. If you have a look at the map though, you will notice that apart from NZ & Brazil, it all seems to be happening in the Northern Hemisphere which is currently facing mostly away from the sun being winter over there so that rules out Solar Flares.
    I guess if the autopsies show up nothing then we will just have to wait and see what comes next.

    January 9, 2011 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. solon

    can some check Africa and Asia there arent any markers

    January 9, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Anderson Nunes

    why in the movies about the end of the world (wollyhood) the erão black U.S. president? and Obama is the first black president!

    January 9, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. John Maler

    This map is outdated. Here's the one which is always up to date

    January 9, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. fishyfish101970

    I am not sure but these happenings are mostly in developed countries and not in developing countries ,I dont know I might be wrong to corelate these things,but but but, are these countries doing some thing which is putting living being at risk in these countries.I want to tell one thing I am a firm believer in GOD which ever it may be as I am very close to HIM but I dont have anything against atheist also its a free world they have also got right to speach but I would like to tell them it would be good to know HIM try it ,it is not going to harm you. Hi Ms Diaz

    January 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. susan

    I'm just curious, was this the first time that Ark has used fireworks? If it wasn't the first time, then shouldn't there be a mass kill of red-winged blackbirds every year when they shoot off fireworks? Something doesn't add up here... And why aren't birds falling out of the sky in the Fourth of July when communities all over America light fireworks?

    January 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • KANE

      Because its a bunch of crap. Almost as ghay as saying the Roswell crash was a weather balloon or the thousands of sightings and encounters with E.T's were flares or bad dreams. News flash to everyone...we are constantly either lied to, purposely kept in the dark or given some lame ass explanation from a so-called "expert" (like the idiot who came up with the, lmao firework theory) that makes absolutely no sense to a sensible being. The only you're going to get any kind of truth is if you find it yourself. You could always hold your breath for the Gov. to fill us in but honestly i'm pretty much fed up with their pathetic excuses.

      January 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Susan

    I have no idea what the cause of the wildlife deaths could be, but consider this: If anyone has ever had to have a pet autopsied, you know it takes weeks to get the results showing cause of death. Explanations for the bird and fish mass deaths came hours after the events. Such multiple events would take weeks, even months, to evaluate by proper scientists. Something is not right.

    January 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • brandonv

      they didnt really say that is the only cause, that was their guess. they are currently testing both the fish in the east and the birds.

      January 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Roland

    It could be from the sonic boom flight of the F-22 and F-35

    January 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Myni

    Has anyone noticed the parrallel coincidences between many of these mass deaths and USGA earthquake reports?

    January 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MBaker

    *speaking of loud noises- maybe it was having to listen (over and over) to the new Jennifer Hudson- Weight Watchers commercials, good grief, yikes, screaming, I'd fall out of the sky as well.

    January 9, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. go

    All insanity aside, here is a bit of perspective on various serious historical extinctions. I will check for weather related linkages in the recent Ark bird event. There were clear weather references in the Chesapeake fish event. – 'got a bit chilly- and a couple million fry got hit by a cold current... Previous related fish events there were larger, but relatively recent... This one's air temperature was 32.4 degrees 4.3 degrees F below average for December and water temps were near record lows…
    (Thanks to Wiki for the references below)
    Late Devonian extinction
    The Late Devonian extinction was one of five major extinction events in the history of the Earth's biota. A major extinction, the Kellwasser Event, occurred at the boundary that marks the beginning of the last phase of the Devonian period, the Famennian faunal stage, (the Frasnian-Famennian boundary), about 374 million years ago [1][2]. Overall, 19% of all families and 50% of all genera went extinct.[3]A second, distinct mass extinction – the Hangenberg Event – closed the Devonian period.
    Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event
    The Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, which occurred approximately 65.5 million years ago (Ma), was a large-scale mass extinction of animal and plant species in a geologically short period of time. Widely known as the K–T extinction event, it is associated with a geological signature known as the K–T boundary, usually a thin band of sedimentation found in various parts of the world. K is the traditional abbreviation for the Cretaceous Period derived from the German name Kreidezeit, and T is the abbreviation for the Tertiary Period (a historical term for the period of time now covered by the Paleogene and Neogene periods). The event marks the end of the Mesozoic Era and the beginning of the Cenozoic Era.[1] With "Tertiary" being discouraged as a formal time or rock unit by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the K–T event is now called the Cretaceous–Paleogene (or K–Pg)
    Permian–Triassic extinction event
    The Permian–Triassic (P–Tr) extinction event, informally known as the Great Dying,[1] was an extinction event that occurred 251.4 million years ago,[2][3] forming the boundary between the Permian and Triassic geologic periods. It was the Earth's most severe extinction event, with up to 96% of all marine species[4] and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species becoming extinct[5] It is the only known mass extinction of insects.[6][7] Some 57% of all families and 83% of all genera were killed. Because so much biodiversity was lost, the recovery of life on Earth took significantly longer than after other extinction events.[4] This event has been described as the "mother of all mass extinctions" event by many researchers.

    I hope that some of our esteemed cowriters will please get a more thorough bibliography and understanidng of its content

    January 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
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