A few years ago, I was visiting a friend from college who, for a scholarship, had moved for a few months to an apartment near my apartment, next to his podium. It was nice to be able to tell him about the old days, and yet by week two he started to become clear that something was wrong. My friend’s face became more and more marked by the glasses, he became very easily irritated and started to complain about his job even though at first he claimed to like it.
The answer to why he told me about it just as he told me he was going back to his hometown, several months before his scholarship and internship ended. This was due to the fact that something was happening frequently on his floor: the dog started to growl, standing still and heading towards the only interior room of the place, as if he could see something there. The final blow came when he discovered that twenty years ago, a tenant had died on the spot, electrocuted during renovations.
Stories similar to this are common. The belief that animals can perceive paranormal phenomena he is as old as he is popular. Even today, there are many people who have experiences in which a dog stares at a corner or hallway in which there is nothing, with its ears raised, and begins to bark or growl with obvious signs. of stress. What is true about this belief? Is it really true that dogs are able to see aspects of reality that escape our senses?
Dogs that bark at nothing: between the paranormal and the mysterious
The scope of belief in a canine sixth sense is impressive, especially since there is less and less reason to believe in paranormal spirits and phenomena.
A survey conducted in the United States in 2011 showed that about 47% of people living with dogs were alerted by these animals just before something serious happened. In other words, the experience was convincing enough because, when interpreting the facts, many people they would think the dog had some kind of sixth sense.
On the other hand, it is also common to believe that when dogs bark with nothing, they are in fact ghosts of the wind and supernatural entities. The ambiguity that emerges from these situations feeds beliefs in the paranormal, and there is a phenomenon which, on a small scale and intensity, is reminiscent of Folie à Deux, in which the delusions or hallucinations of a person cause that person to behave. -this. so convincingly that the other ends up believing their explanations.
But … do dogs do this by having visions? As far as is known, there is no indication that these animals exhibit such psychotic symptoms more often than humans. But that does not mean that they see ghosts, spirits or echoes from the future or the past: there are other explanations, much more complete and simple.
Domestic explanations of the dog’s sixth sense
It seems undeniable that dogs have certain sensory abilities that are much more developed than representatives of our species. But that doesn’t mean they enjoy a sixth sense, in the most mystical take of the concept. In fact, these strange behaviors, like becoming nervous in situations where there is no clear danger in sight, Can be explained based on what is known about their sense of smell and ability to hear.
It is a fact that these animals can hear sounds at a volume well below the threshold of our hearing sensitivity. This allows the same stimulus, like a cat’s heartbeat in the distance, to be captured by a dog and not by us, despite being right next to it.
But this better hearing has a downside: in a very wide range of sounds, it is easy to find one that is ambiguous, Which is confusing, either because it mixes with others, or because it is padded with a couple of materials that the dog has not become accustomed to, such as certain metals with which a wall can to be coated.
On the other hand, much of the mystery of why it always happens in the same place, and more or less constantly, also has a very simple explanation: the noise of the pipes. These components pass through a large part of the walls and sometimes generate noise, but we do not perceive them when they are damped by many layers of building material.
Dogs in the face of natural disasters
Another fact often related to the supposed sixth sense of dogs is that they are able to predict certain natural disasters.
How do you explain that hours or days before a hurricane hits the area, the dogs are already realizing something is going on? It is believed to happen because they are very sensitive to changes in atmospheric pressure, Something that always happens when a phenomenon of this nature develops.