Lost With No GPS or Compass? Just Look For A Cow In A Field!

Lost With No GPS or Compass? Just Look For A Cow In A Field!

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.

Lost With No GPS or Compass? Just Look For A Cow In A Field!

The reason

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.


Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

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