Some 5,000 blackbirds fell from the sky in Beebe, Ark. New Year's Eve, and scores of other animals have died en masse around the world of late. Scientists have officially blamed the bird deaths in Beebe on fireworks or weather and say that the other incidents are unrelated. Not everyone, of course, is convinced. (Watch a Russia Today report about some theories.) Here are five out-there theories on what's really fueling the global rash of mass animal deaths:
1. The (evidently imminent) Apocalypse
"We are in the period referred to as the Tribulation," says Pastor James Manning in The Manning Report. We are experiencing both "spiritual [and] ecological warfare." The Bible talks of an environmental catastrophe that will precede the Apocalypse. This may very well be it.
2. A UFO strike
Perhaps a UFO ran into the birds, says Saul Relative at Associated Content, who outlines how a "UFO birdstrike" could explain not only the demise of the blackbirds over Arkansas, but that of birds in Louisiana and Kentucky. Sure, it's a "far-fetched" idea, but the more rational explanations being offered don't make much sense.
3. A looming earthquake... triggered by BP's heedless oil drilling
Could the animal deaths be a forewarning of a huge earthquake? The "New Madrid fault zone is coming to life" says The American Dream blog. The fault zone is "six times bigger than the San Andreas fault zone in California," "covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi," and has caused "the biggest earthquakes in the history of the United States." There have been hundreds of measurable earthquakes in Arkansas in the last few months, and Indiana experienced an "unprecedented" tremor last month. It's possible that these events are all connected — somehow — and that BP disturbed the area's tectonics "by drilling such a deep well and unleashing all that oil."
4. Mass avian suicide
"Actually, it seems the birds killed themselves," says Ronnie Blackwell in the Sun Herald. The animals flock together by nature, and in this instance, fireworks led the blackbirds in Beebe, Ark., to collectively shred "themselves on their own roost trees" and batter themselves against the town's buildings. The birds died from self-inflicted blunt force trauma.
5. A magnetic field imbalance
The real culprit may be a "magnetic field imbalance," says Gerard Le Flamand at 2012. "In 2008 NASA reported a massive breach in the Earth's Magnetic Shield," and "magnetic storms can be the cause of several phenomena that we are seeing on Earth lately," from animal deaths to earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- How U2 became the new Nickelback
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
Subscribe to the Week