Can Goats Predict Volcanic Eruptions?

The Argentata dell Etna is a breed of goat found nowhere else in the world. Each morning, Gaitano herds his animals out onto the slopes of the volcano. The goats will eat just about anything. But Gaitano knows that on the upper slopes of Etna, there are glades of a yellow flower that he thinks gives his goats milk a unique taste. Gaitano has been working on the mountain his whole life, and in that time, he’s noticed some bizarre behavior in his animals. He believes that the goats behave erratically, not just during one of Etna’s eruptions, but before one. A team of scientists using GPS tags have now corroborated Gaitano’s theory. The goats do, in fact, seem to be moving off the mountain before an eruption. It’s as if they have a sixth sense… an intimate connection to the Earth.

Could it be the vibration in the ground? Or the smell in the air? No one is sure what is triggering their retreat. But the next time you see a humble goat running in the opposite direction, it might pay to follow it. .

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