Stressed Out!
Video Segments: Can Animals Predict Disaster?

These brief video segments can be used alone or in combination, to introduce a topic or to spark discussion among your students. The video segments can be adapted for any grade level – suggested focus questions are provided. Stream the video segments from the playlist below, or scroll to the bottom of the page to find downloadable QuickTime versions of the videos. These videos are also used in the lesson plan Stressed Out! (grades 9-12).

An earthquake is caused by a sudden rupture or movement in the earth’s crust, usually due to the release of tectonic stresses which have accumulated over time. Seismic waves radiate from an earthquake’s epicenter as energy from the rupture is transferred and dissipated through the earth. When this rupture occurs underwater, water is also displaced, creating massively destructive waves called tsunamis. These clips from the NATURE episode “Can Animals Predict Disaster?” examine the tsunami of December 26, 2004. They challenge students to theorize about how animals’ greater sensitivity to seismic waves might have given them a lifesaving warning about the disaster which claimed over a quarter million human lives.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Suggested Focus Questions:

Clip 1: Destructive Forces

  1. What are some possible historical instances of animals fleeing an upcoming natural disaster?
  2. What might be some explanations for these flights?

Clip 2: Waves of Destruction

  1. What causes a tsunami?
  2. Why would the seismic waves traveling though the earth move so much faster than the tsunami’s waves of water?

Downloadable QuickTime versions of the video segments:
(Note: To downoad a video, right-click on the video title and click “Save Link As…” or “Save Target As…” On a Mac, press the CTRL key and simultaneously click the mouse, then save the link.)

Clip 1: “Destructive Forces”
Clip 2: Waves of Destruction”

  • Jones

    Great lesson. I’m excited to use it, but link to download video clips is “broken”. I’ve tried several times on two different computers. PLEASE HELP.

  • Jennifer

    I like this video, it is so very sad I hope I will never have to live through a earthquake…

  • videowatcher

    this was a very interesting video i found it very informational…..

Inside This Lesson

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.