Not to spoil the fun on cow magnetism…

…but it’d actually be interesting to find out whether or not cows can detect magnetic fields.  Not least because, if cows can detect magnetic fields then the next question would be why cows can detect magnetic fields.  Generally, living creatures have abilities for a reason.  The reason may no longer apply in the modern era, but there should have at least been one to start out with.

I dunno.  I don’t think that abstract research in the sciences is a waste of time, per se.  It’s often a waste of money, or at least an inefficient use of limited funds – but then, you never know.

Via Instapundit.


  • Rob Crawford says:

    Alternative explanation: the cattle are aligning themselves with lines of trees nearby. Those lines follow fence lines, and the fences are aligned with the compass. In most areas, that is within a few degrees of the magnetic compass, and “cattle error” and tolerance in the measurements could create the artifact of them aligning with magnetic fields.
    Alternatively, cattle naturally contain magnetic monopoles, and the aliens have been coming to Earth to harvest them for years. Sad that they have to mutilate the animals like that, but…

  • Spegen says:

    Maybe the magnatism helps evenly spead the fat cells to make tastier meat for us to eat

  • PubliusNV says:

    Note the commenter who says that ranchers often feed cows magnets (complete with wikipedia citation). If the report is true, it doesn’t have to be an evolutionary development.

  • Phil Smith says:

    I saw that comment, Publius, but I didn’t take it seriously until you brought it up. Moe, I think we have your next Amazon link.

  • PubliusNV says:

    Perhaps this research should be considered for next year’s Ig Nobel prize in biology.

  • Catseye says:

    So the modern domesticated bovine is descended from a migratory herd animal that went north in the Spring and south in the Fall. Congratulations to the team that rediscovered the wheel.

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