(photo ‘Spring Moos‘ by Fiona McGinty)
I can’t believe it took me a week to see this. The missus told me this the other night but I assumed she was winding me up as usual. Turns out she wasn’t. The Beeb reports:
‘Images from Google Earth have confirmed that cattle tend to align their bodies in a north-south direction. Wild deer also display this behaviour – a phenomenon that has apparently gone unnoticed by herdsmen and hunters for thousands of years. In the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say the Earth’s magnetic fields may influence the behaviour of these animals. The Earth can be viewed as a huge magnet, with magnetic north and south situated close to the geographical poles.’
Now that’s what technology and the web are for – showing us the wonderful weirdness in the humdrum of the everyday. Beautiful.
Of course, as many bloggers have pointed out, there’s nothing really new here: Mark Twain made this observation in Huckleberry Finn.
It’s an intriguing story and one that gets better the more you look into it. For some interesting theories and explanations, have a look at the comments below this entry from the folks over at the Freakonomics blog.