Northern Lights Stranding Whales?
In early 2016, 29 sperm whales were stranded in the North Sea within the span of a month. The high numbers begged the question: What caused so many to become trapped and disoriented in shallow waters?
A study published in the International Journal of Astrobiology came up with an interesting link between the whales and another icon of the north: the aurora borealis.
They point out that solar storms affect the planet's magnetic field. They create short-term changes in magnetic latitude. Sperm whales may use these magnetic latitude markers for navigation. The disruption caused by a powerful solar storm could be enough to throw off sperm whales traveling within the affected area and cause them to lose their way.
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