Sometimes even this old dude sees something that leaves him in awe. The video here, which you may have already seen, is one of those times. I happened upon it this morning as if by chance, perhaps. It is this sort of phenomenon caught here on a video that makes me happy to have been so lucky as to actually exist at all (by the way the odds of any one of us existing is, well, far beyond imaginable itself).
Scientists make be figuring out some of how this works - what they call "murmuration". Maybe one day, they will figure out all of how it works. The bigger question though is WHY. They may tell us they move as an intelligent cloud as a means of safety. But still, really...quite a spectacular safety mechanism the universe has given to these birds...far better, far more astounding than some story about parting the Red Sea or some tale about never ending loaves of bread.
Scientists studying this say,
Measuring how a change in direction by one bird affects those around it, the team discovered that one bird's movement only affects its seven closest neighbors. So one bird affects its seven closest neighbors, and each of those neighbors' movements affect their closest seven neighbors and on through the flock.
So, okay. Why seven??? All they say is that it is one of those numbers that just works.
Uh, huh, just works
And, yeah, how come it is virtually instantaneous?
I spend too many hours, I sometimes think, chronicling so many awful things on this blog. The truth is I do get sick of it from time to time.
The other me, the one you don't know, loves WONDER...loves to be filled with a sense of AWE. It is why I am so drawn to the incredible (and for me joyous) science of quantum physics and things like String Theory. If I have a spiritual side, this is where it is found. The science of quantum particles and fluctuations, multiverses, multiple dimensions... or the actions of a bunch of starlings...WONDER AND AWE...
Everything came from nothing, a weirdness all its own, but sometimes what is here is enough to make it all worthwhile.
PS: the bird show is amazing, but the expression on the young women's face at the end of the video, well, you tell me.
I've never done anything remotely like this on my blog before, but what the hell...have a wonderful day...
The following is from Wired. If for some reason you can't actually see it on the blog, then just go to here.