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. x

    Methane gas leaks caused through exploration, development, and transport. What do all the incident locations have in common? Gas mining or fuel development. Arkansas=Fayetteville Shale. Chesapeake Bay=Marcellus Shale. Louisiana=Haynesville Shale. Falkoping Sweden=Alum shale...These mass-kill events events have been occurring for some time, but only gain notoriety because of increased access to multiple information sources through the internet.

    "Officials" don't want to cause a stink (heh) by telling the public the truth about that is happening in their community. The air they are breathing occasionally contains toxic clouds from the local gas operation. By the way, you can't see or smell the toxic gas...but the results are obvious. Birds falling dead out of the sky and thousands of fish washing up dead.

    CNN reporters should be questioning the gas companies and the local government officials rather than spreading outrageous stories about the cause of recent events being fireworks and blunt trauma (a common result of falling to the ground from a great height). More importantly though, the public should be questioning the validity of reporting by CNN as well as other "trusted news sources" as to why the media is covering up these toxic hazards to the public!

    January 10, 2011 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
    • KANE

      There are no signs of poison in any of these birds that I have read. Seems pretty far fetched to think that an invisible cloud is floating around the world killing birds instantly without a trace of poison. However, this is still leaps and bounds more credible than fireworks. lol...fireworks.

      January 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. aaronsaxton

    This end of the world stuff is from small minds. This is what was said when volcanoes went off, when Tsunamis happened, and WW I was the end, then WW II, and then... the list goes on. The bottom line is that God is NOT killing animals to mark the end of the world. Rather there is a logical reason and sound scientific investigation will find the answer – even if we do not like it. The most deadly kill-off in history is and was the killing off of honey bees – and for those who do not understand the significance of that, killing off the worlds homey bees almost would certainly signal a mass kill-off of humans and a substantial amount of all other life on Earth (check it out). Who was to blame? Bayer corporation for placing into fertilizers major chemical elements that effectively poiosened the pollen that resulted in the bees deaths. But do not worry America, while your EPA, Chamber of Commerce and FDA still work for corporations that make massive profits off of death, just remember that it is all OK. Nothing is more king than your dollar. The elected officials sicken me. Go back to your trash TV and enjoy. It is all just a big reality show. 🙂

    January 10, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kris

    How sad to God our creator, that His creation mocks Him. Man seeks a logical explanation for everything, that in itself should tell you something. Man fears what he cannot explain away in logic, but God in His mercy still gives us time to come to Him in love so that we shall be reconciled to Him. These are signs we are told to watch out for.

    January 10, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dabree

    OIL SPILL! Hello? Birds eat fish. Most of the occurrences, according to the mass death map is on a water way or close to the BP spill site. Perhaps now all of the oceans bordering the Gulf have been contaminated?

    January 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. elleo

    What happened this year, that has never happened before? How about the worst oil spill in history. Did we seriously think that we could dump all of those pollutants into the ocean and there would be no long term fall out.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zach

    Many of the events on that map are ridiculous.

    I live in Tampa, Florida and know the manatees died from the sudden freezes we had. The ones that lived mostly took shelter in the runoff waters of the power plant to keep warm.

    Once again, people will always find meaning behind everything where there is none. Has the world forgotten what a coincidence is?

    January 10, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jesus

    My people I am coming, prepare for massive deaths...

    January 11, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. THE DEVIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    no i am coming jeses is not ha ha ha ??????????????????????????????????????

    January 11, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. THE DEVIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    JUSTICE WILL NOT BE SERVED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 11, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. THE DEVIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


    January 11, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. THE DEVIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    MS DIAZ IM COMING AFTER YOUR DOG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA=EVIL

    January 11, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. THE DEVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


    January 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. who knows

    I wonder if this is the reason??

    January 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eddy Wood

    I believe it's being caused by Plan 10 from outer space!

    January 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Startrek

    My take is a cloaked Klingon War Ships..stationed around the globe. Lol.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
    • KANE

      Do these replies even work?

      January 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
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