After the 2004 Tsunami hit Southeast Asia, it was reported some elephants in Thailand sensed danger beforehand and fled to higher ground: evidence, perhaps, of an ability to detect seismic events before they happen. More than a decade ago, U.S. scientist Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell observed that elephants in Africa could communicate through the ground: seismic waves would carry their voices across great distances. Since then, she has found the talent is not unique to elephants. In fact, a number of animals, including scorpions, kangaroo rats and golden moles can communicate through seismic waves. According to O’Connell-Rodwell, in the past humans were also likely most attune to vibrations. She says those with impaired hearing have reported that when music is played in a room with a wooden floor, the sensation is akin to “hearing the music through their feet.” As for the ability of elephants to predict earthquakes, she says conclusive evidence is still lacking, but it remains a possibility.
Elephants aren't the only animals who can hear through their feet
Scorpions, kangaroo rats and golden moles also communicate through seismic waves