Videos of unusual bison movements at Yellowstone National Park are triggering speculation about recent seismic activity in the area. On March 30, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit Yellowstone. Thousands of light earthquakes occur at Yosemite every year but, according to an April 2 RT News report, the most recent one was was the strongest since the 1980s.
One video shows a small herd of bison running up a paved road in a way that causes some to interpret the movement as fleeing from a life threatening threat. There are other videos of Bison making unusual movements that were described as panicked flight from some unidentified threat.
Pile this on to a long history of animals, especially house pets, that behaved strangely before earthquakes and it is easy to become uneasy about the Yellowstone bison.
Northern elk are also missing without a clear official explanation.
There is a little support for the idea that the bison are responding to subtle seismic or volcanic signals. A research study found, helium releases that were 1,000 times above normal levels in some areas. There have also been smaller, unreported earthquakes near the volcano.
The United States Geological service (USGS) is not excited at all. First, the elevated helium levels were dismissed by the USGS as coming from an earlier research study. The levels are not being related to current seismic or volcanic activity.
Without any measurable and ominous volcanic signs, however, poachers become the most likely suspects in all the cases of the missing and fleeing animals.
Yellowstone is mostly in Wyoming, but shares borders with Idaho and Montana. Every year, Yellowstone sees about 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes. They range from magnitude three to magnitude five and do not cause excessive excitement in the three states region.
The March earthquake is actually identified as a “light” quake. It was just one of a 25 quake cluster that happened around the same time. Clusters of light quakes are the most common seismic events at the park.
While a March 30 Epoch Times article reminds us that Yellowstone sits over the world’s largest super volcano, it has been 640,000 years since the last major eruption deposited ash all over the vast North American continent. While scientists have extremely low expectations of a major, world-changing eruption in the next thousand years, there is room for all kinds of lesser, yet serious volcanic or geological events.
Finally, scientists believe that Yellowstone’s next eruption is more likely to take the form of lava eruptions without the explosions and drama of the ancient eruptions.