As recent research got released, we learn how the gray whales might rely on a magnetic sense to find their direction through the ocean. This proof arises from the finding that whales are prone to strand on times when there are a lot of sunspots. Such things are related to the solar storms.
A solar storm is an unexpected discharge of high-energy particles from the Sun that got the power to disturb magnetic adjustment behavior when they communicate with Earth’s magnetosphere. What’s more intriguing about this research is that, according to the scientists, they could find out how a solar storm might affect whales.
Researcher Jesse Granger from Duke University and her team realized a series of measurements and observations. Her interest in wide-length migrations originates partly from her tendency to get lost, even on known paths. She wanted to discover how some animals utilize magnetoreception to travel by studying events when navigation went wrong.
Gray Whales Affected by Solar Storms
“I hypothesized that by looking at patterns in the spacing and timing of incidents where an animal was unable to navigate properly, we could better understand the sense as a whole,” detailed Granger.
She and her team analyzed over 186 live strandings of the gray whale. The information displayed those strandings happened significantly more frequently on days with a lot of sunspots than on other times chosen randomly. So, the chance of a stranding doubled when a high sunspot occurred. They also discovered no notable rise in strandings on days with massive deviations in the magnetic field.
Collectively, what researchers found is that a disruption of whales’ magnetoreception sensor influences the strandings on days with a lot of sunspots. “It wasn’t until one of my co-authors mentioned that solar storms also produce high amounts of radio-frequency noise, and I remembered that radio-frequency noise can disrupt magnetic orientation, that things finally started to click together,” added Granger.