The mysterious deaths of over 100 stranded pilot whales on the coast of New Zealand may have been an ignored warning that an earthquake was about to strike.

Two days before the earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, a pod of whales beached themselves on Stewart Island, the second mass death of whales in three weeks.

This sort of ominous occurrence has predated earthquakes in the past, and some scientists are beginning to believe the two events are inextricably linked. 

“It is my observation, confirmed over the years, that mass suicides of whales and dolphins that occur sporadically all over the world, are in some way related to change and disturbances in the electromagnetic field co-ordinates and possible realignments of geotectonic plates thereof,” said Dr. Arunachalam Kumar, a professor from India.

However, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) said that the whale deaths were unrelated to the earthquake in Christchurch. DOC spokesman Andy Roberts said it was more likley that the pod followed a sick animal on shore to help it, and become stuck in the shallow waters, or that the pod has made a navigational error and swam ashore.

Scientists aren’t the only ones catching on to the trend. After the earthquake struck, Twitter was awash with people catching on to the unfortunate occurence:

“Over a hundred pilot whales beached themselves in New Zealand and then the earthquake. Wonder if tectonic plate shifts confuse whales. Hmmm,” tweated CodeNameTanya.

Scientists and citizens alike continue to speculate the links between these two events.