With all the excitement about the Great American total solar eclipse expected to happen in just a few short weeks, it is important to remember that even our pets are going to experience the rare celestial event as well. As such, don't be alarmed if you see your animal buddies behaving differently during the eclipse.
Protecting Our Pets' Eyes
In preparation for such a rare event, people have been purchasing NASA-approved eclipse glasses to witness the great eclipse on Aug. 21. However, our animal friends will also be a witness to the spectacular event, and instead of feeling the excitement that we have, their experience may be different altogether.
One important thing to remember especially for pet owners is that just like our own eyes, our pets' eyes may incur damages from directly looking at the sun as well. NASA had not been lacking in reminding everyone to use proper protective gear to enjoy the eclipse without the worry of causing damage to their eyes.
What's more, while it's perfectly safe to look at the sun during the totality, this period is relative short, so it's extremely important to wear the eclipse glasses again before the moon begins to move again.
That's not saying that pets should be kept indoors during the eclipse, but if you plan on sharing the experience with the family's beloved pet, perhaps handing them their own pair of eclipse glasses is the safe way to go. However, it's not really a necessity, as even on normal days, animals don't particularly have a habit of looking at the sun, so there's no specific worry as to whether they will on the specific day of the eclipse.
Animals Are Very Sensitive
Now apart from protecting our animal friends' eyes from eye damage, it's important to remember that animals are more sensitive to certain changes in the environment compared to humans. As such, it should not come as a shock should animals behave strangely or differently as a reaction to the sudden change in the middle of the day.
Because of the sudden darkness and drop in temperature, it's very possible to witness sudden changes in animals' behavior. Zoos and scientists across the country are expected to note their observations on changes in animal behavior during the eclipse just as scientist have done for centuries.
For instance, some animals like giraffes may make more noise during the sudden darkness, and lemurs may exhibit strange behavior. In previous years, strange occurrences in animals have also been observed such as in the 1500s, when birds were described by an astronomer to have fallen out of the trees and stopped singing during an eclipse.
Other behavioral changes among animals and insects such as signs of agitation, sudden silence, huddling together, or even disappearing from sight have also been observed in recent years. For instance, nocturnal animals may suddenly become active for a few moments during the darkness, and even plants may react according to the amount of light that they receive.
While it is still not completely clear why animals react in a certain way during such celestial events, perhaps knowing the animals' awareness of the event is a good reminder that humans are just one part of the equation when it comes to life on Earth and that we share this planet with so many other creatures that experience many of the same things that we do.