Feeds

China deploys head-banging snakes for earthquake prediction

Richter scales

Security for virtualized datacentres

The bizarre behaviour of snakes is being used as an earthquake sensor in China. The serpents, a winter delicacy in the south of the country, apparently freak out up to five days before a tremor.

Nanning earthquake bureau director Jiang Weisong told the state-owned China Daily: "When an earthquake is about to occur, snakes will move out of their nests, even in the cold of winter. If the earthquake is a big one, the snakes will even smash into walls while trying to escape."

Authorities monitor a 24-hour video feed from a nearby snake farm. The animals can predict a quake up to 120km away, the bureau claims.

The head-banging snakes are not China's first brush with using animal instincts for earthquake prediction. In 1975 authorities ordered the one million residents of Haicheng to evacuate days before a tremor shook the city at 7.3 on the Richter scale, claiming animal evidence predicted the event. Geologist have since claimed a rare series of foretremors alerted instruments. More here.

Anecdotal evidence has long suggested animals are able to sense impending natural disasters. In 373BC the Greek city of Helice was flattened by an earthquake. Contemporary historians said that rats, snakes and weasels deserted the area in the days beforehand. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.