A Sixth Sense
Why It Matters
What if you could determine your direction by detecting the Earth’s magnetic field with your eyes?
Certain birds use light-sensitive magnetosensors to migrate and current studies show that we may have the ability to develop this skill as well: http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/magsense/
Are we developing our sixth sense?
- Birds, bats, and turtles have been known to detect the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves much as we use a compass. Look up the magnetic declination of where you live: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomagmodels/Declination.jsp Why do you think that the magnetic declination of where you live is different from someone that lives further north or further south?
- Using NOAA’s site as a reference (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/faqgeom.shtml), does the magnetic pole shift over time? Draw (by hand or digitially) a story that shows how this is recorded on the ocean floor.
- For fun: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2008/08/25/google-earth-shows-that-cow-and-deer-herds-align-like-compass-needles/
Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/magsense/
Jeanna Bryner. Live Science. http://www.livescience.com/14694-humans-sixth-sense-magnetic-fields.html