Some humans can “sense” Earth’s magnetic field according to research. Yeah, his name is Magneto, bro!
Easy headline is easy! That said, pretty fucking cool research.
The ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field—a trait known as magnetoreception—is well documented among many animals, but researchers have struggled to show that humans are also capable of the feat. Until now.
New experimental evidence published today in the science journal eNeuro suggests the human brain is capable of responding to the Earth’s magnetic field, though at an unconscious level. It’s not clear if our apparent ability to sense the magnetic field is in any way useful, as it’s likely a vestigial trait left over from our more primitive past. Giving the new finding, however, researchers should investigate further to determine if magnetoreception is somehow contributing to our behavior or abilities, such as spatial orientation.
Magnetoreception is found among both invertebrates and vertebrates, and it’s probably a capacity that’s been around for a very long time. Some bacteria and protozoans exhibit magnetoreception, as do some migratory birds and sea turtles, who use the added sense to assist with navigation. Dogs are also sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field, orienting their bodies along the North-South axis when they poop.
[Continue reading on Gizmodo]