A staple of science fiction, teleportation has long captured the imagination, the idea that someone could travel from one place to another instantaneously and alluring one, yet there are many cases lying outside of the realm of pure fiction of this supposedly actually happening in real life. Such strange reports paint a picture of a bizarre world in which people, objects, and animals seem to inexplicably blink in and out of existence to teleport for reasons and by means that remain unknown to us. I have covered such cases with people on several occasions and also objects here at Mysterious Universe before, but not animals, so here we will look at the mysterious world of animals that seem to have teleported from one place to another, further showing that this is a truly unique facet of the world of the weird.
One early and very curious case of a teleporting creature concerns the great biologist, zoologist, naturalist and cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson. In 1938, Sanderson was studying leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta along with two Dutch scientists when they noticed something odd and inexplicable about the ant queens that baffled them. It was found that if the queen’s chamber was broken into and then covered again it was discovered that the insect would simply vanish without any apparent rational explanation. This was particularly odd, since the underground chambers where these queens reside are typically around 3 inches thick, hard as concrete, and built around her, with only small perforations for worker ants to enter and feed her and collect the eggs. The queen herself stays ensconced within the chamber her entire life, reproducing and being cared for by her horde, but she is too big to ever fit through the holes, making the apparent ability to vanish into thin air quite baffling indeed. There was simply nowhere the queens could have gone. Sanderson and his colleagues even tested this ability to seemingly teleport by applying dye to the queens to identify them, and he would say of the whole phenomenon thus:
It has been observed that, if you do get to a queen chamber, and carefully slice a side off it, you may observe the tightfitting insect within and can mark it carefully with a squirt of dye. As long as the chamber is left open, or resealed only by a piece of glass, nothing happens. Often the queen dies or is taken apart by the workers. Sometimes she just goes on egg-laying - dye and all. However, if you cover her up even for a few minutes, something happens. She vanishes! Further digging in some cities within hours brought to light, to the dumbfoundment of everybody, apparently the same queen, all duly dyed with intricate identifying marks, dozens of feet away in another super-concrete-hard cell, happily eating, excreting and producing eggs!
Several possible explanations were thrown about, such as that the workers had somehow killed and dismantled the queens to only make it seem as if she had disappeared, but this did not explain the reappearance of a queen in another area with the same dye marks. Sanderson became convinced that it was reasonable to suppose that the ants had somehow evolved the ability to teleport the queens or even other things in times of emergency.
Getting into even more bizarre territory is the impressive number of reports of teleporting cats apparently out there, and there are whole "Glitch in the Matrix" type reddit threads devoted to such accounts. One case featured in such a thread was a poster who claims that she had been lying down with her cat and gotten up to get some food from the fridge, only to return and find the cat gone. Not thinking too much of it at the time, the phone began ringing and turned out to be a friend from across town calling to tell her that her cat was there on his porch. The poster said “I look at the clock and it had been about three minutes. I have no idea how any of this happened, or how it is even remotely possible.” It seems like the cat simply teleported all the way across town in moments. Such weird cases are surprisingly plentiful. In another account, the poster says:
Something strange just happened.
I was walking through my house and my cat was keeping up with me. My cat is fully black, with white pawfeet. He was doing the typical cat thing of walking just in front of me and attacking my feet with every step. After a few minutes of this, I stopped and look at him sternly. He got scared and skittered off behind me, hiding in the room on the other side of the house.
I kept walking and went around a corner where the front door is. I had opened it to let air in, and when I walked past it, I saw something black between the door and the wall. I pulled the door towards me and saw...my cat.
There is no way he could have gone past me without me noticing, and I even watched him run all the way to the complete other side of the house. The thing was he looked terrified. All the fur on his back was standing up and he was crouched low to the ground. He looked like he had no idea what just happened, either.
That was about 10 minutes ago. He won't leave my side now, which is strange in itself, because he likes independence, but he is still very unsettled and so am I.
Just as strange was a redditor who told the tale of how his cat rubbed against his leg as he was on the phone and let out a distinctive whine as it usually did, but when he looked down there was no cat to be seen anywhere. Thinking this to be odd, he immediately went to the living room on the other side of the house to find the cat fast asleep on a sofa. The poster would say, “I can tell it's not a raccoon or some other intruder, because my cat has a somewhat unique shrill whine instead of a meow. I've thought about all possibilities but I just can't think of an explanation.”
In yet another report the witness tells of how she saw her 10-year-old white cat waiting outside to be let in, but when she went to open the door she suddenly saw the cat around 20 feet away, which was impossible since it had just been at the door a split second before. The cat was out by a shed and seemed to have cornered some sort of animal. The poster would describe what happened next thus:
I'd gone downstairs and headed toward the back door because I could see him waiting to come in. But as I put my hand on the doorknob, I suddenly saw him about 20 ft away cornering an animal next to our shed. So I turned around, grabbed a shirt I had hanging up and headed towards the downstairs bedroom (passing the stairs linking downstairs to upstairs).
I stopped in the doorway to the bedroom and looked to my left and there was the cat corning a chipmunk in my basement. There is NO WAY he could have gotten in that spot because in order to do that he would have had to carry the chipmunk up the back stairs, across the deck, through the dining room and down the stairs PAST me in order to get to where he was. In fact, he was in the same exact position in the downstairs hallway that he'd been in outdoors against the shed. I'm convinced the only way he could have gotten inside with the chipmunk was to have literally teleported (this is a cat with no 2 teeth in his head that oppose one another...he physically can't carry anything).
Sometimes these mysterious teleporting cats are not even the pet of the person reporting them, and there have been many such cases involving animals no one had seen before seeming to just appear out of nowhere. One such case reads:
My aunt was sitting in the lounge room one day and watched as this pure white cat strutted past the archway. No doors were open to outside, there is no way any animal could have come in the house and when she got up to go look it had disappeared and has never been seen again (this incident was about a month or so ago).
So vast is the scope of this cat-related weirdness that it is often speculated on these threads that cats have some sort of natural ability to teleport or shift through dimensions somehow. Perhaps cats are not the only ones, as dogs have been known to teleport as well, with one account describing how their dog instantaneously transported itself from one place to another. The baffled dog owner says of the experience:
We first became aware of the teleportation power of animals when our first dog, Zaphod – a whippet sized lurcher – teleported from our garden into our deer field. We didn’t see him teleport but … one minute he was in the garden with us, the next he was the other side of a six-foot high fence. Even red deer couldn’t jump that fence. The gates were fenced too. There weren’t any holes or places he could have crawled under. Our first thought was that he’d run at the gable wall and attempted some kind of parkour move to gain height before somersaulting over the adjacent fence.
But deep down we knew.
A bizarre instance of this teleportation happening has even allegedly been caught on video. One strange incident supposedly happened during a drag race in Chile, and in the clip two cars are seen roaring down an empty speedway only to have a dog seemingly materialize out of nowhere in the middle of the street as they pass and run off to blink out of existence just as suddenly when it gets off to the other side. The baffling footage soon went viral and you can see it for yourself here. Although it could certainly be faked, and sadly probably is, it is intriguing nonetheless. I have even found a report of a teleporting sheep of all things. In the account, the witness claims that one of their ewes managed to seemingly teleport out of a paddock and out into a nearby field, despite the fact that the two were separated by a locked gate and 1-meter high fence. The baffled witness would say of the event:
Two days earlier we’d noticed that one of our ewes had come back into season – she was over by the fence to the ram’s field, dressed to the nines and baa-ing seductively into Shaun’s ear. So, we opened the gate and let her through. Two days later we were on our way to bring her out of Shaun’s paddock, when we noticed she wasn’t there. She was back in the main field with the other ewes. But how? There was a one-metre high sheep-proof fence between the fields. The gate was locked and there was no sign of damage along the fenceline. Sheep couldn’t jump it or burrow underneath it. The only time it had been breached – by the redoubtable Black Ewe while being chased – she’d left behind a broken fencepost and a mangled stretch of wire.
Other supposed examples of animal teleportation are out of place animals that seem to appear in places far from their natural habitats out of seemingly nowhere, as well as mysterious falls of everything from worms, to dead birds, to frogs and fish and everything in between. Are any of these really instances of teleporting animals, and if so what is going on here? Theories have of course swirled, with one being an idea put forward by Charles Fort in 1931. Fort believed that teleportation, incidentally a word which he actually first coined, was a naturally occurring force in the universe he called a “transportory force,” and that on occasion people, objects and animals could be drawn into this force and spontaneously teleported. He also believed that it was a force that lies dormant within us, a mental power like ESP in a sense, that could emerge at times to whisk us away, often without our awareness that we are even doing it. Fort had some rather elaborate ideas about the whole process, and believed that one day it could even be used to travel across the vastness of space. In his book Lo!, which contains much on the subject, Fort writes of teleportation thus:
If we accept that teleportation, as a natural force, exists, and suspect that some human beings have known this and have used it; and, if we think that the culmination of a series of tele-operations will be the commercial and recreational teleportation of objects and beings, we are concerned little with other considerations, and conceive of inhabitants of this earth willing themselves—if that’s the way it’s done—to Mars, or the moon, or Polaris.
Are animals doing this too, and are they also at the whim of this force? Other ideas are that these are bizarre evolutionary adaptations of some sort, or that there are miniature wormholes or vortices that open up here on Earth to transport people, objects, or creatures across distances in the blink of an eye, and even micro black holes have been proposed as a possible explanation. Are there some sort of unseen vortices, wormholes, or whatever scattered about our planet, teleporting away things that wander or fall into them? It is an interesting concept, but as of yet there is no evidence that such things exist here on our planet, which is not to say they aren't there, just that they are regulated to the realm of pure speculation for now. We are left with these odd cases of animals that seem to simultaneously appear and disappear at a moment's notice and not much in the way of explanation. What is happening here? Is there some rational explanation or is something truly mysterious going on? For now we simply do not know, and the reports of such anomalies continue to come in.