When Mother Nature Sends Us Warning Signs Something Is About To Happen

By Jhoana C

Do we always have to rely on technology to give us warning signs of impending disasters or changing weather patterns? It turns out we don’t have to because mother Nature is here for us, and she’s more than willing to share early warning signals with us. As much as possible, it’s important to be prepared for disasters, and having even a few minutes head start is a huge thing in the preservation of life and properties. This highlights the usefulness of being able to spot warning signals in nature. The truth is that Mother Nature can be destructive, but she can also be the first to tell us when things are about to go wrong, so heed her warning. Learn the tell-tale signs because they might just help save lives.

#1 When animals run towards you, there might be a fire

Animals are more sensitive to smells and sound than humans, which is why they can tell earlier if something wrong is happening. Aside from smoke signaling that a fire is burning, there are also more subtle signs. After all, some fires don’t get big so instantly that they can be spotted from far away.

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One such warning sign is animals running towards you and away from something.  Animals don’t just leave their homes for no reason. If birds fly towards you and mammals move towards you, there’s a big chance that something is amiss.

#2 Whatever you do, avoid cracks in the snow

Wintertime is magical. It signals lower temperatures, the year’s most fun holidays, and of course, a chance to indulge in various winter sports such as ice skating and skiing—however, every time snow-capped mountains surround you, there is potential danger lurking.

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Avalanches can’t be outrun because snow flows as quickly as 80 miles per hour. However, there are key signs to look out for to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. A critical thing to do is to check under your feet for cracked snow. The likelihood of avalanches is also increased by rain or heavy snowfalls.

#3 Square waves in the water mean you should get out fast

Go on an excursion to the beach, and some of the things you can expect are plenty of sun, an equal amount of fun, sea breeze in the air, and some waves. However, square waves are not something to be delighted about.

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This is a phenomenon called ‘cross sea.’ Square waves are formed near the coastlines, as well as open oceans. This rare occurrence happens when the wind from two separate kinds of weather collide, resulting in waves moving in different directions. The waves create a grid-like pattern in the sea. These waves are notorious for causing rip tides that can be very hard to escape from. The strong current can pull you out to sea and cause drowning.  

#4 When you see a mass of animals evacuating an area, there could very well be an earthquake

People believed that animals could detect an earthquake even in ancient times, and this was long before modern devices were invented. When science and technology weren’t as advanced as they are now, people looked to animals to provide warning signs of impending trouble.

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When rodents, reptiles, and insects leave their home in droves, there’s a big probability that there will be a huge earthquake. It’s pretty hard to pinpoint what gives animals the ability to “detect” or “sense” earthquakes. However, even a few minutes’ headstarts won’t do much to save people from earthquakes.

#5 if you see bands in the sky, it’s time to go indoors

If you’re outside and see long streaks of rotating clouds, it’s time to seek refuge indoors quickly. Make sure that you’re away from any windows, especially glass, because they can easily shatter and cause serious injuries. It is best to go down to a basement or somewhere else safe.

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The strips of clouds are called “inflow bands” or “sky bands”, and their presence means there is a big thunderstorm coming or worse, a tornado. Clouds like these are usually low in the sky and typically stretch to the southeast or south.

#6 Avoid any bodies of water that are color green

For man, bodies of water with vibrant green colors, be it rivers, ponds, lakes, or oceans, is something rather unique. You don’t see green waters very often. It’s almost always lovely blue waters. However, whatever you do, you should stay away from green waters.

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Why? Because green waters mean it is contaminated with algae. Water contaminated with algae can be dangerous to your health, and that of your pets. Algae blooms happen when pollutants such as phosphorus and nitrogen find their way into the water.

#7 When you hear a rattling noise, there might be a snake nearby

If you hear a rattling noise while outside, there may very well be a rattlesnake nearby. Rattlesnakes got their names because of the sound they make. The “rattles” are found at the end of their tail, and it made up of interlocking rings of keratin.

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Each time rattlesnakes shed their skin and go through the molting process, they add one more segment to their rattles. However, you won’t be able to tell a rattlesnake’s age by looking at its tail because rattles commonly break off as they age.

#8 When you see dead fish on the beach, it means the water has turned toxic

One dead fish on the beach isn’t something to be concerned about. However, if you see a school of dead fish and plenty of other lifeless animals, there’s a big chance that there’s an increased amount of toxin because of the K Brevis algae. Avoid swimming there.

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Red tide is a phenomenon that happens when there are high concentrations of K Brevis, and it turns the water to a copper-red color. They release toxins that are harmful to the nervous system of the shellfish that feed on them. It also sickens and even kills fish, turtles, seabirds, and other marine mammals.

#9 Check for five-toed paw prints when in the forest

Hiking in the woods and spending time outdoors is a good way to de-stress and reinvigorate yourself. However, there might be huge animals out there that can potentially cause serious injury, so it’s important to be on the lookout for them.

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If you see five-toed paw prints, as well as scratch marks on tree trunks, it’s time to leave, Why? Because there’s a big chance that there’s a deadly bear around. Other additional clues that point to a bear are tufts of hair on the ground.

#10 Not all berries are yummy

Whenever you’re out in the woods and are hungry, you shouldn’t just pick any fruits from any tree. Not everything growing on trees and plants are edible. You can make a deadly mistake and end up putting poisonous things in your mouth.

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Not all berries you see are edible. They’re not the same as the ones you see in the supermarket. Holly berries, for example, look like they’d be yummy, but you’re not supposed to eat them. They can cause seizures and nausea, and when not attended to immediately, they can even cause death.

#11 When you’re stung near a hive, you should immediately run!

Bees are some people’s worst nightmares. If you get stung by a bee and have an allergic reaction, you could die of anaphylactic shock. Allergies or no allergies, bee stings are not pleasant. When you find yourself surrounded by bees, you need to do absolutely nothing because they won’t hesitate to sting you when they are threatened.

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It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s not because bees are attracted to the scent of sweat. Bees die when they sting a mammal, and when they expire, they emit pheromones that call nearby bees to attack. So, when you get stung by a bee, you should run away as fast as possible.

#12 See a skunk stamping their feet? Don’t come any nearer

We’ve all seen enough shows on National Geographic to know what skunks have glands on each side of their butts that produce their spray. You wouldn’t want the disgusting smell because your friends will be running away from you as soon as they catch a whiff.

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You can be around skunks and not get sprayed by watching out for the following warning signs. If they raise their tails and shake them, you should back away quickly. That’s the last warning they will give that there’s going to be a massive spray real soon.

#13 Get off the road when you see a huge wall of dust

People who live in the southwest of the United States enjoy warm temperatures all year. They mostly have clear skies and don’t have problems with precipitation. However, being in the southwest also means being in the path of sandstorms.

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What’s the warning sign that a sandstorm is about to happen? If you’re driving and see a cloud of dust, you should get off the road immediately, put on the brakes and turn off the car lights. They can cause a lot of accidents due to the low and sometimes even nonexistent visibility.

#14 Frogs can say a lot about the weather

A lot of people are annoyed by the croaks of frogs. True, they can bother you, but they have many things to say with their croaks. If they croak more than they normally do, it’s a signal that it’s about to rain. So, when that happens, you should cancel your plans for a picnic.

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Make no mistake about it, though; frogs love the rain because it gives them an opportunity to mate with other frogs. Since frogs like to lay their eggs in the water, it’s a time for them to do more than just sing!

#15 Stay out of the way of a charging bull

Sharks might be mean machines that will try to bite anything with their powerful jaws, but they don’t kill the greatest number of people. Cows kill more people than sharks. However, because of one blockbuster movie, the masses believe that sharks are more dangerous.

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So, if you ever see a bull or cow running toward you, you should get out of the way immediately. There are warning signs that show that they’re about to charge. You can tell by the way they snort aggressively and the way they paw at the ground.

#16 Stay away from snakes with bright colors

The thought of snakes slithering towards you is just frightening. Yikes! Although there are snakes that are harmless as long as you stay out of their way, some are just poisonous or venomous. So, what is one way to tell the difference?

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Many solid-colored snakes are not poisonous. A tip to keep in mind is that the more colorful the snakes are, the more poisonous or venomous they are. If you see any reptiles with orange, yellow, or red, they’re telling you that you should stay away.

#17 Funnel clouds can become tornados

Funnel clouds have a cone or needle shape that extends from the main cloud base. Very often, they develop when supercell thunderstorms occur. They travel overland without touching the ground, but they have the potential to become tornados.

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So, when you see them, you should stay inside the house, close all doors and windows and stay away from them. If possible, you should stay away from anything with glass and go to the basement if there is one. Another thing to bear in mind is that hot funnels are more dangerous than cold ones.

#18 Dropping ocean levels may mean tsunamis

Everyone remembers that devastating tsunami that happened on Boxing Day in the Indian Ocean. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives, but if people knew the warning signs to look out for, many would have been saved. So, what do you need to look out for?

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Look at the coastal line. If the water level recedes and coral fish start to appear on the beach, then it’s high time to get out. A tsunami is likely on its way, and we all know how devastating it can be. Leave the beach and avoid low-lying areas.

#19 Look at the clouds for signs of a tornado

Tornadoes can have whirling winds with speeds of up to 300 mph, so you can imagine the damage they do. If you find yourself looking up at huge wall clouds, it is best to find somewhere safe to take shelter right away. The best predictor of tornado activity is rotating thunderstorms, such as this one.

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Huge wall clouds mean that you need to seek shelter without any delay! These clouds are different because they’re lower than other clouds and can reach up to five miles long. There’s no saying what can happen when you get trapped in one of these so it’s best that you stick around to find out.

#20 Avoid rip currents by looking out for choppy waters at the beach

Rip currents are long, narrow channels of fast-moving water. They are most prevalent along the Gulf, East, and West coast of the US. They can move to speeds of up to eight feet per second, so they move faster than an Olympic swimmer.

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In the US alone, lifeguards rescue tens of thousands of people from rip currents, and they’ll be the first to tell you how dangerous they can be. You can avoid rip currents by looking out for choppy waters at the beach.

#21 A hair-raising experience may mean you’re gonna get hit by lightning

You may probably have seen this picture many times. It may look fun, but there’s a sinister truth behind the pictures. What you see are two brothers posing for a picture because, hey, it’s not every day that you see the hairs on your head standing on end.

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What they didn’t know was that they were only minutes away from getting struck by lightning. Fortunately, today, fewer people die of lightning strikes because they know the warning signs. So, when your hair stands on end, and your jewelry starts tingling, you should seek shelter immediately.

#22 Rising water levels mean one thing, flood!

Floods are one of the most often occurring and most dangerous of all-natural disasterss. They cause immeasurable damage to property and cause loss of life. They happen any time of the year and in any part of the world, day or night. What causes heavy flooding? Heavy precipitation is one of the main culprits.

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If it’s been raining for a usually long amount of time and you notice the water levels of rivers rising, it’s time to head for higher ground because it’s highly likely that a flood is on the way. Another warning sign is that the water turns extra brownish or muddy.

#23 Avoid areas with J-shaped trees

Hiking in the woods is a fantastic way to spend a weekend or vacation. Take time away from the high-tech world we live in and commune with nature. However, you should be paying attention to your surroundings because they could be trying to warn you of something.

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Trees that are shaped like the letter J means that the area has a history of landslides. Landslides usually happen where there are steep slopes. Another thing to watch out for is cracking in the ground or the street.

#24 Avoid caves during a full moon

We know that the chance of people exploring caves during a full moon is something unlikely, but we still feel that this PSA needs to be heard by everyone. Full moons tend to make the tides lower than normal, and this makes them more accessible.

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However, there’s a downside to that. When the water rises, you could get trapped inside the cave and drown! So, when you’re in a cave and spot the full moon, get out as soon as you can. You could end up just like the Thai schoolchildren that had to be rescued from a cave.

#25 Warnings signs of a volcano eruption

There are places on earth that have a high concentration of volcanoes. If you live or happen to be visiting one, you should be familiar with warning signs that can spell disasters because doing so could potentially save your life and your family’s.

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True, we have government agencies that ensure the safety of the masses by tracking volcanoes, but it’s still a great thing if you know how to spot the signs. Before a volcano erupts, there will be increased amounts of gas and steam. There could also be small earthquakes.

#26 Not all mushrooms are edible

There are hundreds of varieties of mushrooms found all over the world, and they each have unique characteristics, smells, and tastes. Mushrooms add value to any balanced diet. However, if you see a mushroom growing near a tree, you shouldn’t put it anywhere near your mouth. These mushrooms are called ‘destroying angels,’ and they are highly poisonous.

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Those who would like to spend some time in the woods and rely on Mother Nature for sustenance should know that not all mushrooms are edible. Unless you’re an expert, it’s difficult to tell just by sight which ones are edible and which ones are not. It’s better to bring your own food and not leave things to chance.

#27 Don’t park or stand near trees with missing bark

If you’re looking for parking space or a good spot to stand on while waiting for someone, make sure that you don’t do so near a tree that has missing pieces of bark or wood. Why? Because this means that the tree is suffering from damage or infection.

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When a tree is infected or damaged, it’s not as strong as it’s supposed to be and could easily fall over. You surely wouldn’t want a damaged car or, worse, get injured. If you have such a tree in your yard, you can call in a tree surgeon for some expert help. Yup, we also didn’t know that there’s such a profession.

#28 Refrain from walking on frozen lakes

Not all frozen lakes are safe. Sure, we’ve seen people on television walking and even running on frozen lakes and having fun, but that doesn’t always translate well into real life. There are, however, places in the world where it is safe to walk on frozen-over bodies of water due to the extremely low temperatures.

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Sometimes the ice is thick enough to support your weight, but there are times when it isn’t. If you see a lake that’s been iced over, it’s best not to take the risk and just stay away from it. You never know when it might crack, and you could end up falling through the ice into the freezing waters below.

#29 Colored pools can look out of this world, but they can be poisonous too

How often do you see bodies of water in colors other than the regular blue or clear? Such a thing doesn’t happen very often, and there’s a good reason for that. If you’ve ever visited Yellowstone National Park, you’ll remember that there are multi-colored springs.

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The reason for the unusual colors is the very high temperatures. It could reach up to 200°F, and believe us, that’s more than enough to scald you and cause severe burns. These pools could also harbor bacteria and germs because we all know how such organisms love damp and hot environments. So, please stay away from them.

#30 Animal and plant movement can warn us about climate change

When you find plants and animals in other parts of the world and not in their usual abodes, it could mean there’s climate change. Many factors dictate flora and fauna’s habitat, and some of them are rainfall, humidity, and temperature.

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When climate change happens, it could affect the survival rate of different forms of life, so when you see animals leaving and going somewhere else, it means that the climate is telling them to do so. For example, more grizzly bears are moving north nowadays because it’s getting warmer where they are.

#31 Look to cow udders for signs of an earthquake

We know that such a thought might be funny because what has cow udders have to do with an earthquake in the first place? It turns out cow udders have a hidden purpose aside from supplying humanity with fresh milk.

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Studies have shown that milk production is drastically lower days before an earthquake happens. So, it turns out that farmers have a lot to do with giving people a heads up about an earthquake. We don’t know who conducted these studies, but we’d like to thank them with a glass of milk.

#32 Wind changes could mean that there’s a storm coming

Storms are powerful natural occurrences that can wreak havoc on lives and properties. A good and reliable sign of an impending storm is if the wind quickly picks up speed. This means that you have to seek shelter quickly.

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Unfortunately, you shouldn’t celebrate as soon as the winds slow down because it could mean that far worse things are on the way. The best thing to do is to stay indoors and close the doors and windows. It’s also a good idea to listen to the weather forecast for any sudden changes.

#33 Quicksand doesn’t mean certain death

How many times have you seen shows on TV or movies depicting people getting caught in quicksand and almost being unable to escape at all times? The good news is quicksand doesn’t mean certain death. There is a way to escape it.

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We’re not taking away the fact that being caught in quicksand is difficult, but there is hope if you find yourself in it. Just stand up straight and gently wiggle your feet as you lift them. When you apply a bit of pressure, it will move things up a little, and the air wrapped around your feet will loosen and allow you to get away safely.

#34 Shiny sidewalks could spell disaster

Snow isn’t unusual, especially during wintertime. Snow also tends to turn to water and settle on the ground, giving it a glossy and shiny look. This is what’s called “Black Ice” and this could lead to several road accidents.

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Cars often skid and crash, and people tend to fall when the road is slippery. This can result in severe injuries and even death! There are even times when the glossy look isn’t there, but the surface is as slick as can be.

#35 The sky can say so much about the weather

Sailors are skilled at reading the sky for weather patterns. After all, they spend a lot of time at sea and need to know warning signs to ensure everyone’s safety. They go by the saying, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.”

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This is because the red color indicates that it’s going to start raining soon. The red color is a result of sunlight bouncing off water vapor. So, the next time you plan on having a picnic with family and friends, look at the sky first.

#36 Green skies mean danger

We don’t often see skies in green, but such a phenomenon does happen from time to time. The green color is the result of the setting sun’s red getting mixed with the blue light of a storm. So, if you see green skies, a tornado or hail is on the way.

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The best thing to do is seek shelter that’s preferably underground. Yes, there’s a chance that it might not turn into a tornado, and you may find yourself laughing, but that’s a lot better than getting caught in a tornado.

#37 Listen to the sound of the sea, not the sound of music

Being near the ocean is relaxing. You feel the breeze in your hair, sun on your skin, and of course, you hear the sound of the ocean. However, there are times when things sound different from what you are expecting. The next time you’re on the beach, pay attention to the volume of the ocean.

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This way, you’ll be able to tell if there is a tsunami or not. If you hear roaring like the sound of a fast-approaching train, there’s a big chance that there’s a big tsunami happening, and it’s coming straight toward you. We need not elaborate on how tsunamis can be destructive; everyone knows this because of the 2004 tsunami after Christmas day that devastated parts of Asia.

#38 Even sharks are afraid of hurricanes

If you see sharks while swimming, the first thing you should do is to get out of the water as fast as you can. It doesn’t matter if the shark isn’t hungry; the last thing you want to do is risk your life. However, if you happen to see a gam of sharks swimming you should be on high alert.

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This means a possible hurricane or storm coming. This is because sharks are highly sensitive and they can sense the drop in barometric pressure and when they swim deeper, they are attempting to get out of what’s called the frenetic zone.

#39 Birds flying away means a tornado is just around the corner

Animals are more sensitive than humans, and this is why they can sense things earlier than we do. If you see golden-winged warblers flying away, it could also signal a tornado, and that’s not something you want to be caught in.

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In a study conducted in April 2014, scientists followed a group of golden-winged warblers in Tennessee when they suddenly all left and traveled all the way down to Florida. After a few days, the entire flock came back and, in total, traveled 900 miles. Experts believed that they must have heard low-frequency infrasound from nearby storms.

#40 Rings around the moon is a warning sign for rain

Was there ever a time when you noticed rings around the moon? Not many people have or, rather not many people may have noticed. It’s not something people pay attention to most of the time. However, these halo-like formations around the moon mean something.

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These rings are formed when thin; soaring cirrus clouds float above. The clouds are composed of small ice crystals which split, as well as reflect light. This makes them look like a ring around the moon or the sun, and they usually only happen when there’s a storm coming. Now, you know when you should do stuff outdoors or not.

#41 Dogs are hypersensitive and can even spot ailments in humans

Dogs are known for their powerful sense of smell. They are far advanced in the smell department that they can even sniff ailments out. The ability of dogs to detect orders is up to 100,000 times compared to humans. Think about that!

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If your dog happens to be sniffing or licking a certain part of your body more than usual, you might want to seek medical attention to rule out any underlying problems. It’s possible that there’s something wrong, and even if there isn’t, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

#42 Avoid lakes near volcanoes

Lakes that are located near volcanoes are always in hot environments, and this makes similar to cans of soda that are being shaken violently, and you know what happened when that shaken can of soda is suddenly opened.

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There’s a possibility that magma underground is forcing carbon dioxide into the bottom of the lake, and when there’s pressure, it’s going to pop. Always be careful when around or near lakes in volcanoes. You don’t want to get scalded.

#43 Hear a roar of rushing water? Go to high ground

From 1995 to 2019, 1,661 lives have been lost in the US alone due to flash floods. How do you stay safe during a flash flood? It pays to know the early warning signs such as the roar of rushing water because it can potentially save your life.

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When you hear the roaring sound of water, you should go to higher ground immediately. Never drive or walk through flash floods, and when evacuating, it is also best practice to always be on the lookout for downed electrical wires or power lines.

#44 Ecosystem canaries can predict doom

The only permanent thing in the world is change, and even established ecosystems are not spared from the effects of changes in our climate. Some ecosystems have supported life for so long, and now all of a sudden, they can’t do that anymore.

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However, to take action, researchers first need to identify ecosystems that are at risk, and they do this by ecosystem canaries. It turns out that they can predict doom. They are not technically ‘canaries’ but rather various animals that can tell us a lot about our planets.  

#45 Ladybirds know when it’s getting hot

Ladybirds are one of the few critters people love. They come in various colors and patterns. They are graceful, pretty, and are harmless to humans. However, aside from looking pretty, they can also tell you when it’s about to get hot.

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If you see groups of ladybirds huddling together, they’re preparing for hot weather. They huddle together to preserve body moisture. No ladybird wants to dry out in extremely hot weather. We can look to them if we want to know when hot weather might be on the horizon so we can prepare and stay hydrated.