Scientists have recently discovered that cows seem to know which way is magnetic north. They took satellite photos of thousands of cows from all different continents and discovered that the majority align themselves in a north-south direction.
The study was led by Hynek Burda and Sabine Begall of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.
Two-thirds is close to what the researchers found in their look at 8,510 cattle in 308 pastures. In the study, 60 percent to 70 percent of cattle were oriented north-south, which Begall termed a ”highly significant deviation from random distribution.”
The scientists expressed surprise that large mammals would orient themselves in a particular direction, since it has not been discovered before. Joseph L. Kirschvink of the California Institute of Technology said:
Passive alignment of animals to magnetic fields has been reported in honeybees and termites, he noted. It requires some type of special sensory organ to detect the magnetic field.
Now the researchers will also be studying other large animals such as sheep, goats, horses, and wild boar.
What is interesting to me is that part of the yoga teachings include aligning yourself in certain directions to take advantage of the magnetic fields of the earth.
For example, when we meditate the suggestion is to face north. When we sleep, the suggestion is to face in an east-west direction, so that the magenetic field within the body itself is not impacted by the magnetic pull of the earth.
Some yogis claim not to be able to tell the difference which direction they face, and others probably can feel a difference.
Science and yoga coming closer together again.