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Aug 28

Scientists Use Google Earth to Watch Cows

Okay, this is fascinating in a geek kind of way. Scientists have used Google Earth to watch grazing cows and have made an astonishing discovery, cows are basically compasses.

News.com.au (Follow the link for the full story) reports that scientists used Google Earth software to study the alignment of 8510 cows in 308 pastures around the world and 2974 red and roe deer in 241 locations in the Czech Republic. They found that grazing cows tended to align themselves with Earth’s north-south magnetic fields.

This phenomenon has gone unnoticed by everybody until now.

The study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America says, “Because wind and light conditions could be excluded as a common denominator determining the body axis orientation, magnetic alignment is the most parsimonious explanation.”

I’ll be keeping my eyes on this neat story. I guess the moral here is, if you get lost in the wilderness, look for a cow!