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The scientific community already knows that birds can use the geomagnetic field to navigate. In addition, scientists have discovered magnetic sensing abilities in many species in nature. The magnetic sensing ability of living things has always been called the “sixth sense” of biology in the industry.

Sixth sense confirmed for the first time

But for such highly evolved humans, there seems to be surprisingly no evidence that we can sense magnetic fields. A study published in eNeuro by a team from the California Institute of Technology gives the answer: not only can we sense magnetic fields, but the brain responds strongly to changes in magnetic fields. The research team personally told us the wonderful process of confirming the “sixth sense” of magnetism in the human brain.

In the field of biomagnetic induction research, there has always been a question, that is, do humans have the ability to sense magnetic fields? Biologists have previously shown that some animals have a sense of magnetism, which they believe could help creatures such as bees, turtles and birds navigate. Scientists have been trying to explore whether humans are also magnetosensitive creatures. In the past few decades, some studies have shown that humans have magnetism, but other studies have stated that they cannot repeat and confirm these results.

Why are study results so reproducible? Mainly because in the past, the presence or absence of magnetism was almost always judged through the behavioral responses of subjects. As far as our daily feelings are concerned, even if humans have magnetism, it is either very weak in humans, or hidden deep in the subconscious. As a result, when subjects behaved, their brains misinterpreted this usually vague feeling or even ignored it. Therefore, a research team from the California Institute of Technology in the United States used another new method to detect human magnetism. Recently, they finally obtained the first neuroscientific evidence that humans do have magnetism.

Invisible but extremely important magnetic field

There is a magnetic field around the earth that protects us from outer space radiation. This is why we can point with a compass. The current mainstream speculation in the scientific community is that the earth’s magnetic field is generated by the movement of the liquid core. But the magnetic field on the earth’s surface is actually very weak, and the magnets in refrigerators are about 100 times stronger than it.

Living things on Earth are exposed to the Earth’s ever-present magnetic field, which varies in density and direction at different places on the planet’s surface.

Over the past 50 years, scientists have discovered that hundreds of species in bacteria and animals can sense and respond to the geomagnetic field. Some insects, such as bees, respond behaviorally to the production of geomagnetism as strongly as they do to light, smell, and touch. There are even more vertebrates that can sense magnetic fields. Biologists have discovered magnetic sensing abilities in fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and many mammals. Among them, dogs can also find hidden objects after training. Usually, animals with magnetic sensing ability use the geomagnetic field to complete homing and migration navigation, and also cooperate with other sensory systems.

In addition, this study also refutes other related electromagnetic induction mechanisms of human biological magnetism to a certain extent, indicating that humans do not distinguish directions through electromagnetic induction. This also denies the so-called “quantum induction” popular in the recent literature on animal magnetism. Compass” or “cryptochrome” mechanism. So far, the latest research has led us to speculate that humans not only have “magnetic sensors” that are working normally to send signals to the brain, which is a previously unknown sixth sense in the human subconscious. In the future, scientists will continue to explore and reveal more functions of human magnetism. Now we have taken the first step.

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