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. T-MAN

    Are all these so called professionals retarded or what. First off if fireworks caused this type of thing to happen then we would see this twice a year in the U.S. So clearly they can rule that out. Also the one part about a loud noise or something like that. How is it possible for a loud noise to cause "blunt force trauma"??? Thats right, it CAN'T!! Unless it is followed up by an explosion. But im pretty sure they would have mentioned the birds being burnt. Oh thats right they weren't burnt. And on a final note, how does any of their so called logical explinations give any information on how the thousands of fish died. So I don't know about you all. But I will be sticking to the UFO theory. 🙂

    January 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      So what you're saying is that there should ALWAYS be birds migrating through the tiny area where fireworks are exploding. And the concussion that a firework causes up in the air isn't enough to disorient tiny birds without DIRECTLY hitting them and seeing them on fire? And them being disoriented and hitting the ground from their freefall isn't enough to cause blunt force trauma? You convinced me with your scientific analysis! It's the ALIENS!

      January 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-MAN

      @Wes. Yes it should convince you. I was being scarcastic about the UFO's. I just know it wasnt due to fireworks. Birds don't fly to explosions though. Also birds fly during the day. Not so much at night.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JT

    But why is nobody talking about the supposed link between the birds dying, the murder of John P. Wheeler (they government official found in a landfill recently) and his threat to expose the government's testing of Phosgene as a chemical weapon? Is Big Brother in effect?

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

      I'm selling tinfoil hats for the low low price of $99.99. Best quality available. And I can tell that you're going to be a customer!

      January 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. redisgreat

    Kate Bush wrote a song about all this – using sound to"kill someone at a distance". Maybe she was psychic, or nuts.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DM

    There was an eruption under water that caused a huge pocket of gas that went up in the atsomasphere just high enough not to kill ground dwellers... The huge pocket of gas had no oxygen and caused the birds to fall out of the sky, and trama killed them when they hit the ground. The fish died from going into a dead zone in the water with no oxygen.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Shawn

    Some people are taking their love of Angry Birds waaayyyy too far.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-MAN

      HAHAHAHAHA best comment so far!

      January 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      That is excellent lol

      January 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. T-MAN

    HAHAHA, I'll take two of those tinfoil hats Wes. Check or charge?? lol

    January 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. redisgreat

    You need to find out what these animals were betting on that failed or is going to fail causing them to commit suicide. I believe it is not something that is good for us either.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SATAN

    Sorry, I farted.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. T-MAN

    One more thing to add to my many complaints about this horrible government cover up. Fireworks... I don't know about all of you, but the last time I remember we light them off at NIGHT! So that just ruled out all the bird BS. I guess it could be a possibility for the bats, but wouldn't there be dead owls too?

    January 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. looknorth

    I read the stupidity and crap that you Americans post. You act as mentally challenged as your believes you are. DO YOU ALL WONDER WHY THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN IN CANADA...... DO YOU AMERICANS NOT WONDER WHY WE DO NOT HAVE TERRORIST PROPAGANDA IN OUR COUNTRY,..... BECAUSE CANADA WOULD INVESTIGATE IT AND HAVE THE DEFINITIVE ANSWER. THE TERRORIST IS THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TERRORIST IS THE CIA... do your homework people. Your country owns the top secret HAARP in Gakona Alasks the weather modifier, the WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION. The reasons for the birds and the fish are media produced for a grade one mentality. AGAIN PEOPLE HAARP,,thats right HAARP ,one more time HAARP, HAARP, HAARP. Ask your local government about HAARP.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-MAN

      @looknorth- We know that our government has the best stuff there is out there. We make and keep the best possible weapons and everything else. We do that because if anyone decides they want to test us (9/11)then we can go and mess their whole world up. You wouldn't know anything about this HAARP thing if our government didnt want you to. Most retarded comment of the day goes to non other than.... CANADA!! Eh..

      January 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • south is better

      you're invited to stay in canada... and keep your cr@ppy quaters that screw up our vending machines

      January 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • EuphoriCrest

      Geez, quit harping about it already.

      January 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      So arrogant, you smell.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rachelle Mbuangi

    Per Google maps of the large die off of animals are seemingly in dead zones, thus warning the populace to relocate from their present dwellings and move further inland if on coast lines and move off and away from fault lines and etc.... Take Heed! Indeed a Warning,MOVE!

    January 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jon

    See, he just had to go and say it, didn't he?

    January 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lion-O

    No question about it, this is clearly the work of Mumra...

    January 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    Very freaky but most likely the social phenomenon of an availability heuristic. Doesn't explain the deaths but does explain our reaction and reporting of them. More info on it:

    January 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Not an example of availability heuristic. Nothing is being predicted. Apples and Oranges. BTW...wikipedia is a joke.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Donio

    How come they are not citeing past New Years fireworks killing a large amount of birds from the past? Is this the first year anyone has set them off? As a matter of fact I didn't see anything in the artical about past mass deaths.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
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