Documented strange behaviors of animals before an earthquake could invite us to believe that some of them anticipate tectonic activity. We also know that human complex organization makes it difficult for all of us to get in touch with our deepest instinct.

Is it possible that this hypothetical natural ability to anticipate earthquakes still remains as some instinctive input in our daily behavior?

If yes, and to try to measure how much global human activity could reflect some anticipation, I think we could with modern technologies, monitor all our connected device hmi's (Mouse, touchpad, keyboard, phone, voice spectral data's) (anonymously of course) and study delta's on long periods.

I also want to point a risk: Is it not dangerous to do so if those anticipations are among the strongest booster of human intellect and progress in general? (Pandora box problem)

But maybe, those hypothetical intuitions are source of evil momentum...

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    $\begingroup$ What evidence is there that any animals anticipate earthquakes? You claim we know this, based on what evidence? Animals, including human animals, react to an earthquake after they happen, but it has never been demonstrated that they anticipate earthquakes before they occur. This is an old hypothesis, but it has never stood up to a meaningful test. $\endgroup$ Nov 3 '14 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ You are right, it's not formally proofed. It's opinion based. I'll moderate my introduction... $\endgroup$
    – j-p
    Nov 3 '14 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/… this article ends with an astonishing event. $\endgroup$
    – j-p
    Nov 3 '14 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkRovetta See mdpi.com/1660-4601/8/6/1936 and references therein (esp. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2010.00700.x ) for some evidence. Not strong enough to be conclusive but too strong to dismiss out of hand. I think the problem is not that the hypothesis has been tested and found wanting, but that it's a difficult hypothesis to test due to the unpredictable nature of earthquakes. Most reports seem to involve aquatic or burrowing species, so humans might be a poor candidate for such research. The actual question seems outside the scope of earth science, though. $\endgroup$
    – Pont
    Nov 3 '14 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ @pont It's geophysics related, but I concede that the scope of the question is maybe too metaphysics related $\endgroup$
    – j-p
    Nov 3 '14 at 15:21

If you have no prior information that event B depends on event A, it's a logical error to claim event A causes event B just because you find they are correlated.

Let's say you collect a large data set of how people use their computer-mouse, and show that there is some change in a statistic of this data preceding an earthquake. That cannot not prove that the anticipation of an earthquake is causing people to behave differently, because the data will always correlate just as well with some other unrelated event C (such as a swing in the stock-market.)

  • $\begingroup$ Computer expert systems could point some global trends on huge datasets. Time and space scale should be maximised. But I agree that it would be difficult to have formal proofs of such correlations. $\endgroup$
    – j-p
    Nov 4 '14 at 15:42

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