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. Shan

    did any one think about the manetic pole shift cuasing confusion of flying direction and make them collide?

    January 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bored.

      totally agree.

      January 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Not Fooled

    WHoa, Who are they trying to fool? Fireworks! Give me a break! There are only a few possiblities that make sense. 1- Gases leaking from the Earths crust (This makes the most sense). 2- Birds ran into a cloaked Romulan Warship. 3- McDonalds is trying out some new items on their menus the new McBlackbird and the McDrumfish or Arkansas found out the birds didn't have their Green Cards and were here illegally. ?

    January 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anon

    @Not Fooled: Yeah right, it was obviously Klingons.

    January 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MHouston

    @GayFish You paranoid Loon! It's blackbirds coming down! Not the government!

    January 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dog

      Why is it only BLACKbirds? Is there a racist angle to the mass deaths? Why isn't Al Sharpton or the NAACP investigating?

      January 8, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Ms.Diaz

      no isnt just black birds...theres other birds like doves and some research..and grow up while you at it...

      January 9, 2011 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
    • David Goliath

      Ms. Diaz I have read the bible and that is the reason I respectfully don't believe it. Between all the changes King James made to the bible for the benefit of his kingdoms infrastructure, and people like you who jump up everytime something happens that remotely resembles any of the 7 signs and starts a discussion by saying things like We believers are the smart ones, everyone else is just stupid or whatever it was you said...You basically walked into a discussion and made a far-fetched claim while not having any good argument for your theory other than "Jesus said so". Come on. People of todays age cannot be fooled as easily as they could 2000 years ago and really the way you approach the situation you only make Jesus that much more unbelievable. Especially the part where you ridiculed everyone as "stupid" who doesn't agree with your hard to swallow view. You are supposed to pass gods word on to others and help bring people into the light of god. You are doing the complete opposite here. You sound like someone who thought Jesus was coming back during the Y2K craze. You probably believed, until a bunch of birds and fish died, that Jesus was coming back in 2012. Even if I am wrong, this is how you sound. A very bad spokeswoman for your cause. Go to church on sunday and bring us a man of god with communication skills and an I.Q. over 120 and you might get the job done. Just simply replying to every post with chatter about revelations is doing damage.
      BTW in revelations it also says the seas will boil, and there will be great plagues, and swarms of locust, and the moon will turn to the blood of Jesus...Where is the rest of these events to back up your claim?
      Tell you what, next time something out of the ordinary happens wait until you have more ammunition before you go shooting off at the mouth.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • KANE

      I gotta say...Ms Diaz has made some logical comments that I can relate to for example:

      thats not true.....when was the last time you heard of "unexplained" deaths of "different" animals at around the "same time" in "huge numbers" from "around the globe"??????????????? havent..

      but as David said...what's with constantly quoting the bible. You know who she reminds me of...anyone seen The Mist? Ms Diaz is hands down a spitting image of the woman in the grocery store who continually preaches about rapture yet ends up causing more problems for everyone than the problem itself. It very well could be God, it very well could be the alignment of the universe and it very well could have something to do with the increased alien activity on the planet. But dang...lay off the constant quoting of the bible already. We get're the voice of god. Enough said eh.

      Also Ms Diaz...there have been countless prophecies that have not come true and some that have, IF, you believe the translations. I'm surprised you use prophecies from the bible and not the bible code itself. I suppose that may be because you're not familiar with the bible code as many people aren't. The bible code makes all past prophets and the people who think they deciphered them look like rubbish.

      January 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • hmmm

      David Goliath, you obviously did a lousy job at reading the book of Revelation, you might want to give it another read or don't try to quote it because you are the one who looks like a fool.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • understand this

      to say someone is racist because they call a bird by its name only shows the depth of your own stupidity so take your own need to keep racism alive elsewhere and perhaps seek psychiatric help

      February 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Not Fooled

    I think Sheriff Andy Taylor must have given Opie an Automatic Slingshot for Christmas. Instead of just taking out 1 bird, he can now take out 5000.

    January 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. anon

    Oh... my... God... When will people wake up tou our irresponsible Slingshot control laws?

    January 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bored.

    Pole Shift...the world is overdue for one by almost 500,000 years. These animals might be experiencing the first affects, especially if it's affecting their geomagnetic navigation.'s just a thought.

    January 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John

    Who is to say that the massive animal deaths are not being caused by jet fuel remains/ exhaust. It would explain the worldwide "phenomenon". We breath in jet fuel particles with almost every breath we take and if something was added to the fuel more recently it is possible it is effecting more fragile ecosystems.

    January 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Captain_Colossal

    This is the most ridiculous thing ever.

    January 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. IBON4IT

    It's the lead up to 2010 people!!! Get your guns and ammo and prepare to repent!!! OR, how's this for an idea, we COULD clean up the environment so the animals don't suffer from our blundering way of life?

    January 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not Fooled

      Hey Dude, did you just come out of a cave or something? 2010 is over it's now 2011?

      January 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. luis

    yo tengo una teoria ... y creo q los pajaros como son los mas sencibles a los cambios son los q les afecta mas y mi teoria es q por alguna razon el sol la luna y el nucleo de la tierra tiene q ver mucho en lo q paso y creo q tiene q ver mucho con el eclipce q hubo el 1 de enero.. x alguna onda del sol q afecto y sigue afectando.. y no es muy fuerte para las personas pero si bastante para los pajaros..

    January 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms.Diaz

      no mi amor...tienes jesucristo en tu vida?? si no..tu necesitas jesucristo en tu vida...

      January 9, 2011 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dr. Lecter, Ph D.

    The bird and fish deaths are clearly revenge attacks for their invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clarice

      No is not.

      January 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • A REAL Doctor...

      Dr. Lector, if you are a real doctor, I hope that you have sufficient backup for your claims, as you can (and probably should...) lose your license for making such outrageous claims.

      Do they give Doctorates to anyone these days? Society is ruined...

      January 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankly Speaking..

      Real doctors lack sense of humor..

      January 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patchw3rk

      Good lord, I'm glad everyone here is so good at telling when someone is kidding lol

      January 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • becbec

      That's not a Doctor. Just some geek obsessed with Hannibal Lecter. <<>>>

      January 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mother73

      way to go with the whole missing sarcastic reference. geez. your patients must love that stick up the bum sense of humor you have.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Armstrong Sr.

      It would be nice to have solid knowledge of what is causing this and stop it before it turns to people dieing in masses .

      January 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Educated

      Go get jobs.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Jeremy


      January 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Percy

      Where do all these nut jobs come from ??

      January 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jolinar

      LMAO! Finally, someone with a sense of humor!

      January 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      Oh great! We can all watch the coming Apocalypse together in unison.. proudly brought to you by our sponsor Google. I think George Carlin said he wanted to be around to watch.. Too bad he didn't make it.

      January 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      What the heck is killing at the seals in the UK lately?

      January 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. anon

    I like the sound of repentance via guns and ammo.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe Bob

    WOW! If you draw lines connecting the sites of the deaths, they form perfect Pythagorean triangles. How is that even possible that birds would even know to die in those regions and form perfect Pythagorean triangles. It seems impossible for them to have even known about Pythagoras's theory unless they had assistance from non other than extra terrestrials.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Slicc

    You don't die from blunt force trauma by fireworks. If the birds were startled by the fireworks, wouldn't they have died of system shock?

    January 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      I think the idea is that the fireworks cause them to be disoriented and lose their ability to navigate and maintain flight. Hence they fall from the sky and hit the ground causing blunt force trauma.

      January 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      Wes is close. Since those birds can not see well at night and they like to fly low to the ground; they're disorientation caused them to hit buildings, trees, etc. Though some may have fallen straight out of the sky, idk if that's possible with just disorientation.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
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