Biomimetics of advance earthquake detection

Earthquakes are cruel. We have the opportunity to observe nature carefully in order to understand earthquake precursors. The picture shows a village in Friuli, Italy, after the earthquake in 1976. My study of earthquake foreshadowing in animals began after this earthquake, which also affected my home village. After a peasant woman in the neighbourhood asked me why her excited cows knew beforehand but she herself did not, I started searching. I studied many old documents from all earthquake areas of the world. My answer came in the form of the book: “When the Snakes Awake” (Book When the Snakes Awake: Animals and Earthquake Prediction, Refs. 29, 388, 436).
My strategy was aimed at understanding why animals change their behaviour before impending earthquakes. The expectation was to find out the geophysical phenomenon behind the animals’ restlessness, which was often reported. I concluded that the formation phase of an earthquake is accompanied by self-organised geophysical phenomena. These occasionally and before large earthquakes activate enough energy to release gases and charged aerosols that are perceived by animals and understood as striking weather changes. Temperature anomalies recently detected from satellites before major earthquakes occur in a similar time window as the observed animal restlessness and are likely to have the same origin.