How do animals know where to go when they migrate? Seriously. I still need to put Google Maps on when I’m going 300 metres down the road and humans are apparently the most intelligent species on Earth.
But animals? Don’t worry about it!
Except sea turtles. Worry about sea turtles a little.
As it turns out, sea turtles actually don’t always know where to go when they’re migrating. In fact, according to a recent study on Hawksbill turtles, the lil guys typically travel twice the required distance to get to their target location as per The Guardian.
They also often take “circuitous routes” to their destinations, AKA sometimes they’re just swimming in circles. Same babe.
One turtle even swam 1306 kilometres to reach an island that was only 176 kilometres away. Oh my God, bless that sweet little himbo.
Scientists are still learning the specifics about how sea turtles navigate. What we do know is sea turtles use the Earth’s magnetic fields to get around through a process called geomagnetic printing.
The thing is, navigating a very, very big stretch of open water like the Indian Ocean via the Earth’s magnetic fields does still leave quite a lot of room for error. Someone get these turtles a sat nav.
Professor Graeme Hays, chair in marine science at Deakin University and the study’s first author explained geomagnetic printing to The Guardian.
“It doesn’t allow pinpoint straight-line migration, but it does tell [the turtles] when they’re getting a long way off route,” he said.
Perhaps we could learn something from these Hawksbill turtles? With their empty, cavernous heads, no thoughts, just floating about in the ocean swimming in endless circles.
Seems like a pretty sweet life TBH.