UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Solar storms may be to blame for the deaths of dozens of sperm whales.
A new study recently published in the International Journal of Astrobiology suggests geomagnetic disruptions may have caused 29 whales to beach themselves on coasts around the North Sea last year.
It’s thought that whales use the Earth’s geomagnetic field to navigate. Researchers say solar storms distort the magnetic field, causing the whales to get confused and disoriented.
Researchers think the storms could be affecting whales in the North Sea in particular since magnetic disturbances tend to be more frequent near the North and South Poles.
Young males are most susceptible to the disturbances since they are the ones that head to the North Pole region in search of food.
According to Cosmos Magazine, previous studies have made a connection between solar activity and sperm whale strandings.
However, this latest one is the first to establish a direct link between a specific stranding event and solar storms.