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. sh@d0w

    there are so many things that can bring the death upon our earth but this state of the apoclips said when the day of the death of our animals is the coming of the end of the earth and its human family so it could be god's judgement day has hit or it is going to come true that our earth is coming to our end

    January 21, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Northport

    Does the distribution pattern of the dead birds show they dropped where they flew into something? Not from the pictures I saw.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. bob arick

    in our little town of mcconnelsville ohio (morgan county). in the last two weeks we have had thousands of crows or ravens whatever you want to call them massing around our town. flying in circles in huge flocks , thousands of them just hovering over our town. but the really strange thing is they are doing it at nite ten eleven or even twelve or one oclock in the morning. this is weird crows flying in that big a flock and in the middle of the nite. anyone have any answers to this one?

    January 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob arick

      my email is if u would like to email me thanks

      January 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey

    has noone ever heard of HARP????

    February 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      HAARP is behind all of this, as well as most of the 'natural disasters' lately, and its probably going to get worse. Check out this blog I've been following its scary stuff

      May 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. believer

    if continuous natural disasters with mass human deaths, and mass, unexplained deaths of fish, cows, birds, bees, and whatever else, all occurring within the last 10-ish years isn't a sign, then what is?

    what would be a good sign, aside from seeing the Lord Himself? what combination of what events would finally make people believe there is something apocalyptic going on?

    February 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      No matter what you say or what string of events happen not even as they see God himself will some people acknowledge the truth.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. understand this

    look the poles have shifted ,and so will every thing else this is going to get worse before it gets better. however the government has a large portion of the military spread out across the world and are down playing the problem because most people will panic if they truly understood the magnitude of the problem and civilization would be replaced by anarchy this is why they do not tell us you can't handle the truth. doesn't mean it is right though

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  12. Billy L. Robbins

    Well at least google is doing some thing to help the environment. are we?

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    June 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
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