You got your snakes. You got your restless tectonic plates. You got your snakes banging into walls. You got your science of these phenomena.
Perhaps because they are so close to the earth, snakes appear to be especially sensitive to whatever vibrations and sounds occur prior to an earthquake, say Chinese scientists. There's evidence that snakes launching themselves head first into walls is an indication of a tremor to come.
There's some high-tech involved, as the snakes are monitored by digital cameras mounted above their nests. So Chinese seismologists have snakes on a screen.