Earthworms swarming could be an early warning sign of Earthquake Credit: EastMojo Image

A viral video shot in Nepal recorded an unusual swarm of earthworms, they were in lakhs and surprised everyone. The person who shot the video is utterly shocked and says, “That there is a distinct smell.”

A journal published by UK research scientists Rachel A Grant and Hilary Conlan this could be a sign of an impending earthquake.

Their paper ‘Behavioral Response of Invertebrates to Experimental Simulation of Pre-Seismic Chemical Changes’, details a possible link of how animals could be affected by pre-earthquake processes.

Earthworm swarming behaviour, as recorded in Nepal, has been reported frequently before earthquakes; This the scientists point could be caused by electric field shifts or another unknown mechanism.

In another experiment, “Biological Anomalies around the 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake.” Testimonies were collected immediately after the mainshock, including data on earthquake lights, gas leaks, human diseases, and irregular animal behaviour during the 6.3 magnitude L’Aquila earthquake in Italy on April 6, 2009. Over 300 people died.

Forty-eight people reported seeing an increased number of earthworms from January 2009 up until September 2009. Most of these observations were made from a few days (4–6) up until a few hours before the shocks.

A few days before the mainshock, a “large” number of earthworms appeared on the streets of Cansatessa, a village 5 km north of L’Aquila. Residents said that it was almost impossible to walk at some points of the village because of the earthworm invasion. Heaps of earthworms were observed in a vegetable garden on April 5 in the village of Camarda. At the end of March 2009, dead earthworms covered a sidewalk around a house in Capitignano, about 20 km north of L’Aquila. And also in the village of Montereale, before the mainshock. A large number of earthworms were also in the village of Rosciolo, about 25 km south of L’Aquila a few days before the quake. Earthworms were also sighted near Chieti, about 60 km east of L’Aquila.

Recently, an earthquake of 4.2 magnitude jolted West Sikkim and parts of North Bengal, with epicentre in Nepal.

The April 2015 Nepal earthquake (also known as the Gorkha earthquake) killed nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000.

Most Northeastern states fall in zone V on the seismic map of India and is also one of the most active regions in the world.

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