We can all rest easy. There probably won't be any unmanned cars following a rapture this year. There probably won't be an apocalyptic world-ending flood and we will probably live to celebrate 2012 much the way we celebrated 2011 -- with fireworks and revelry.
And that, it seems, is what killed the birds.
So save the doomsday theories for the (living) birds. The real story is actually much sadder. It seems some people who decided to set off professional fireworks in a residential neighborhood sent the resting birds into flight, and since blackbirds have notoriously bad night vision, they ran into obstacles and died.
I know we all want to believe the most fantastic theory, but it seems in this case, it's really just a depressing incident created by people.
For those who are still wondering about all the other animal deaths, there isn't yet an explanation for the Arkansas fish, but since it was only one species, it was likely a disease. And these birds in Sweden were also scared by fireworks.
So, what is it about these incidents that had so many people wanting to believe the worst? It seems part of it was likely a desire to prove they have been right about their religious beliefs. But it's also just interesting to speculate on such things.
We are always searching, it seems, for some evidence of life on other planets (did aliens kill the birds?) or psychic abilities (the Mayans knew the world would end next year and this is a sign). But, as usual, there is often a scientific -- and perhaps disappointing -- explanation for most events in this world.
Theories included aliens, gasses seeping from the nearby New Madrid fault, sonic booms, gas fumes from a nearby plant, government spraying, and a million more. According to USA Today:
It's taught Karen Rowe, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ornithologist, that she and other wildlife experts need to do a better job of educating the public about the fact that wild animals die all the time. A bird that manages to hatch and leave the nest still has only a 70% chance of making it to its first birthday, she points out. "Birds don't go to the bird hospital and get put on life support and die there. They just die. Mother Nature is not a nice lady," she says.
We all kind of want to believe there is more to life than what we see. But the simplest explanation is usually the right one, and in this case, perhaps the saddest one, too. Those birds were killed by something we did, not by God or some government conspiracy theory.
Somehow I think people will keep right on speculating.
Do you still believe something else?
Image via YouTube