When the Snakes Awake

When the Snakes Awake

Animals and Earthquake Prediction

By Helmut Tributsch





Two days before an earthquake struck Helice, Greece, in 373 B.C., the snakes, weasels, and worms deserted the city. Minutes before the Naples quake of 1805, oxen, sheep, dogs, and geese cried out in unison. A herd of horses tore loose and ran off in panic just prior to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Helmut Tributsch thinks that these accounts are more than mere superstition and old wives' tales. In this book, he presents the first plausible explanation of why animals behave in unusual ways prior to the onset of an earthquake. Scientists and nonscientists alike will find fascinating reading in his unusual study.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262200448 268 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262700252 268 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • In this exhaustive compilation of reports from about 78 earthquakes dating from 373 B.C. to 1979, Helmut Tributsch convincingly argues that there is an explanation for abnormal animal behavior before an earthquake. He also makes an impassioned plea against science's exclusive reliance on geophysical measurements for earthquake prediction.

    Barbara Bright

    The New York Times Book Review