Fact Check

Does Video Show Dog Howling Before Earthquake in Turkey?

"He tried to warn them of the danger about to come before the earthquake hit," the video's caption read.

Published Feb. 7, 2023

 (TikTok)
Image courtesy of TikTok
Claim:
A video shows a dog howling in Turkey just before an earthquake struck in the region on Feb. 6, 2023.
Context

While we'll never truly know what the dog was thinking while howling, we're currently concentrating only on establishing whether this video truly was recorded in Turkey in the hours ahead of the earthquake. This story's rating will be updated in the future.

On Feb. 6, 2023, the @straybeautiful TikTok account posted a video that claimed to show a dog howling in a street at night to warn people in Turkey just before a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the region.

The number of dead were already at 7,700 across both Turkey and Syria just 48 hours after the quake hit, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The video's caption read, "He tried to warn them of the danger about to come before the earthquake hit! These are God's gifts to humans we should appreciate them more!"

The video received more than 27 million views in less than two days.

According to a reverse image search, the same video was then reposted on several Twitter accounts.

To try to find the source of the video, we translated several words from English to Turkish. This would hopefully allow us to be able to find more information from people located in the country. Examples of five helpful words included köpek (dog), uluyan (howling), uyarmak (warn), Türkiye (Turkey), and depremi (earthquake).

Another word we looked to translate appeared in the background of the video on a sign: Eczane. This is the Turkish word for pharmacy, which may truly place this video in the country. A mosque also appears to be visible on the left side of the frame.

After doing quite a bit of digging, we found what might be an earlier source from TikTok user @solist.zamira that did not show as many words covering the video. The video was slightly more zoomed in, however, and lasted a shorter duration. The caption read, "Depremden saatler önce dikkat çekici bir olay," which translated to, "A remarkable event hours before the earthquake."

Around 24 hours after it was uploaded, the video from @solist.zamira had already received over 13 million views.

We're continuing to look into this matter and will update this story in the future. So far, we have little reason to doubt the fact that this video was recorded in the hours before the earthquake struck.

As for finding out what the dog in the video was thinking when howling, of course that's something we can't know for sure. Our goal isn't to figure that out. Instead, we're looking to establish whether the video truly was recorded in Turkey in the hours before the earthquake struck.

Still, for anyone interested in learning more about whether animals can anticipate earthquakes in a way that humans cannot, we point readers to articles from both Scientific American and The Washington Post.

If any other readers locate more details, including potentially the location of the exact same pharmacy and street corner seen in the video, feel free to contact us.

Finally, the paragraph below includes a message asking in Turkish for anyone in the country to let us know if they have more information:

Bunu okuyan herhangi biri, sözde depremden önce uyarmak için uluyan bir köpeği gösteren bu videonun kaynağı hakkında daha fazla bilgi sahibiyse, lütfen bize bildirin.

Sources

Averett, Nancy. "Do Animals Really Anticipate Earthquakes? Sensors Hint They Do." Scientific American, 31 July 2020, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-animals-really-anticipate-earthquakes-sensors-hint-they-do/.

Evon, Dan. "Snopes Tips: A Guide To Performing Reverse Image Searches." Snopes, 22 Mar. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/articles/400681/how-to-perform-reverse-image-searches/.

Google Translate. https://translate.google.com/.

Guzel, Mehmet, et al. "Fears Grow for Untold Numbers Buried by Turkey Earthquake." The Associated Press, 7 Feb. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/science-politics-disaster-planning-and-response-middle-east-syria-c727c62abe97d9f6171462351dc4584c.

Sands, Leo. "Did Animals in Turkey, Syria Sense the Quake Early? Here's the Science." Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2023/02/07/animals-turkey-syria-sense-earthquake/.

"Snimak Iz Turske Potresao Svijet - Pas Koji Je Upozoravao Na Zemljotres! (VIDEO)." Mondo Bosna, https://mondo.ba/info/Svijet/a1199313/Mogu-li-zivotinje-predosjetiti-zemljotres.html.

@solist.zamira. TikTok, https://www.tiktok.com/@solist.zamira.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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