If you’re lost on a giant farm, and the sun is obscured behind the clouds, you might despair that you’ll never be able to discern which direction you’re facing.
But according to this article from BBC News, cows have a strong tendency to align themselves facing north or south when grazing. So all you need to do is put a cow on your wrist and BANG — instant compass.
How the F did you come up with this gem, scientists? Strap GPS units to cow asses and track their grazing patterns? Pay thousands of researchers to monitor cattle grazing patterns at sites across the globe?
I mean, it’s not like you just flipped open your laptop one day and goofed around until…
The researchers surveyed Google Earth images of 8,510 grazing and resting cattle in 308 pasture plains across the globe.
“Sometimes it took hours and hours to find some pictures with good resolution,” said Dr Begall.
The scientists were unable to distinguish between the head and rear of the cattle, but could tell that the animals tended to face either north or south.
That right there is some good quality work.
Dr. Begall’s next scientific breakthrough — using Google earth to prove that many Australians lay out topless in their backyards to get a sun tan. Poor resolution means the topless Australians can’t be identified as male or female, but what does that matter when you’ve already got your pants around your ankles?
Cattle shown to align north-south [BBC News]