Adventures in Links – January 30, 2016 (Animals That Can Predict the Weather)

Theme: Animals That Can Predict the Weather

February 2nd is Groundhog Day in the United States, a much-beloved but ultimately pointless day when the country turns its attention to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and a little rodent named Phil to see if we’ll have an early spring or a late winter. The tradition has been around since 1887, which you can read about here or here, and has even spawned a Bill Murray movie creatively titled Groundhog Day. However, little Phil isn’t really all that accurate. If you click here, you can see that he has an accuracy rate of 39%, which is worse than if you just flipped a coin!

But that did get me thinking: are there any other animals that people think can predict the weather? Or natural disasters? Or the stock market? So in addition to the Punxsutawney Phil links, look below to learn a bit more about other animals that may or may not be able to prognosticate.

First off, we need to ask ourselves, “Can animals really predict the weather or natural disasters?” Fortunately, several people have asked that question. You can read about it here, here, or here. The TL;DR version is that anecdotally animals seem to be able to sense weather changes that humans can’t, but it’s not like they’re 100% accurate and we should base all of our decisions on them. Tsk.

However, there are some groups of animals that are better are sensing changes than others! Animals like cows, frogs, ants, and even flamingos have been observed responding to pressure and seismic changes before humans. You can read about them here, here, here, and here.

Finally, if you’d like to learn about a few cuddly animals like Phil, click here and here. The first link tells you about animals worldwide and throughout history thought to predict the weather, and the second list brings you to links of specific animals that can predict things other than the weather. Examples in the latter include an octopus that can predict the World Cup results and a parrot that can pick stocks. They’re silly stories but fun to read.


* Image taken from


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