Could the Earth’s magnetic fields be causing the recent die-off of thousands of birds and fish? Scientists believe so, along with environmental imbalances.
Donna Pravel — Suite 101
The sudden death of thousands of blackbirds in Arkansas over the 2010-2011 New Year’s holiday last weekend was newsworthy enough. Within a couple of days, hundreds of stories from all around the globe recounted similar phenomena. Not only have blackbirds been “falling out of the sky,” but many species of birds,as well as reported cases of bat deaths in Arizona. In addition, there are numerous reports being gathered from around the world about massive fish die-off, and die-off of many different sea animals. What could be causing these deaths? Some researchers believe that changes in the Earth’s magnetic fields are to blame.
The Earth’s Magnetic Fields: What They Are and How Birds Use Them to Migrate
The Earth’s magnetic field is similar to that of a bar magnet, with north and south poles.The magnetic field causes a bubble around the Earth which protects it from solar winds, asteroids, and other objects in space. Scientists believe the magnetic poles are due to electric currents that come from the Earth’s core.The circulating electric current creates a dynamo effect, which is caused, in part, by the rotation of the Earth’s axis. A dynamo effect is similar to what happens with an electric generator. When the magnetic field interacts with particles from solar winds, it creates what is known as the aurora borealis near the poles.
Scientists at Goethe-Universitat in Frankfurt, Germany, have discovered that a bird can see the Earth’s magnetic fields through photoreceptor cells in the bird’s right eye. Birds use this navigational tool to migrate north and south during the autumn and spring. Before this discovery, it was believed that birds could sense the magnetic field either through their eyes or beaks. These photoreceptor cells create shades of light, which tell the birds if they are on or off course during migration.
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