Scientists at the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany stumbled upon something weird while looking at Google Earth satellite images. It seems that cows face a northerly or southerly direction while they eat and sleep. A guy called Hynek Burda was the first to discover this phenomenon. He was viewing satellite images of camping sites and tents to assess whether or not humans have an internal compass that orients them towards one direction. Tents proved too difficult to make out but cows were another thing all together. The images were too fuzzy to make out from space whether or not he was looking at the heads or tails of the cows but still – that’s incredibly weird.
One theory about why this happens owes to whales and cows sharing a common ancestor, the now extinct amphibious mammal, pakicetus. Whales have inherited the ability to read magnetic fields from this ancestor so it stands to reason that cows could also have inherited this ability as well – however more studies are needed.
So it seems that not only do we owe milk, meat and leather shoes to these versatile beasts, but we can also ask them where the nearest post office is too.