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The ‘Aflockalypse’: Google Map Traces Mass Animal Deaths

It's a map that believers in biblical plagues and the "end times" might well shudder at.

Many of the recent reports of mass animal deaths worldwide have been compiled by an anonymous person into one big, unsettling Google Map.

The atlas of animal annihilation has pins placed at the sites of die-offs and offers links to news stories chronicling a particular "aflockalypse." These have included the puzzling plummet of thousands of red-winged blackbirds from the sky in Louisiana and Arkansas, heaps of crabs littering England's beaches, and loads of fish washing up in countries such as the Philippines.

However ominous all these critter deaths might be, scientists have assured the public that the events are not linked. It appears, rather, that the widely reported blackbird story set off a chain of media reports of other similar mysterious massacres around the globe.

In other words, although the cause of many die-offs is unknown — everything from a storm to fireworks has been suspected in the case of the departed blackbirds — there is no need to start stockpiling canned goods or making burnt offerings.

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Adam Hadhazy
Adam Hadhazy is a contributing writer for Live Science and Space.com. He often writes about physics, psychology, animal behavior and story topics in general that explore the blurring line between today's science fiction and tomorrow's science fact. Adam has a Master of Arts degree from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College. When not squeezing in reruns of Star Trek, Adam likes hurling a Frisbee or dining on spicy food. You can check out more of his work at www.adamhadhazy.com.