Magnetoreception refers to the ability of an organism to perceive magnetic fields. Several animals use it to find their way over long distances by aligning themselves with the magnetic field of the Earth. Just think of the pigeons.
Sea turtles, honeybees, spiny lobsters, dolphins, migratory birds, and more all have a magnetic compass. It allows them to use the information implied in earth’s magnetic fields. However, we know just a little beyond that. What remains up for speculation is how they sense it and put it to use. What kind of information are they getting from it? For all that we know, these magnetic fields could give much more information than simple navigation for individual species.
Magnetoreception and Humans
Joe Kirschvink, a geophysicist at the California Institute of Technology, is the one that is currently testing humans for a magnetic sense. He says that “It is just a part of our evolutionary history and Magnetoreception may also be the primal sense.”
There was a recent study, published by Kirschvink in the journal Nature Communications, which suggested that a protein in the human retina, when placed into fruit flies, can detect magnetic fields. The research claims that it can serve as a magnetic sensor. However, it is still unknown whether or not humans can use it in this way.
Steven Reppert, the researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, told LiveScience:
“It poses the question, ‘maybe we should rethink about this sixth sense. It is also thought to be very important for how animals migrate. Perhaps, this protein is also fulfilling an essential function for sensing magnetic fields in humans.”
In one of the recent experiments, Kirschvink was passing a rotating magnetic field through study participants. During the test, he measured the participant’s brainwaves. He discovered that during the counterclockwise rotation of the magnetic field, some neurons responded to the change of the rotation. The response generated a spike in the brain’s electrical activity. This result suggests a probable magnetic sense in humans.
The Next Step
The experiment raised multiple questions. For instance, was this neural activity evidence of a magnetic sense, or it was something else? Even when the human brain responds to these fields in some way, that does not mean that the brain is processing that. There is also the question of what mechanisms are in place within the mind or body which receive these signals. If the body does indeed have magnetoreceptors, where are they? The next step for researchers is to identify them.
The study of Kirschvink is one of the many publications delving into the mysteries of magnetic fields, as well as what impacts they have on humans. The HeartMath Institute could be the leader in this area of research.
The Global Coherence Initiative is an international effort started by some researchers at HeartMath, which seeks to help activate the heart of humanity and promote peace, harmony and a shift in global consciousness. GCI conducts groundbreaking research on the interconnection between humankind and Earth’s magnetic fields and energetic systems.
The hypotheses of the researchers, as well as the scientists behind this project, are as follows:
- The magnetic field of our planet is a carrier of biologically relevant information that connects all of the living systems;
- Every person affects this global information field;
- Collective human consciousness affects the global information field. People that meditate creating heart-centered states of care, love, and compassion will generate a more coherent field environment. This can benefit other people and help offset the current planetary discord and incoherence;
- There is a feedback loop between humans and the energetic/magnetic systems of the Earth;
The planet Earth also has several sources of magnetic fields that affect every one of us. Two of them are the geomagnetic field which emanates from the core of the Earth and the magnetic fields which exist between Earth and the ionosphere. Such fields surround the entire planet and act as protective shields blocking out the harmful effects of solar radiation, as well as cosmic rays, sand, and other forms of space weather. Without these fields, ice as we know it could not exist on Earth. They are part of the dynamic ecosystem of our planet.
Some other evidence which human beings can sense these fields:
The scientist recognized that these energy fields, the solar activity and the rhythms taking place on Earth’s magnetic fields affect our health, as well as our behavior
When the magnetic field environment of the Earth is distributed, it can cause insomnia, mental confusion, or lack of energy. But, at times when the fields of the Earth are stable, people reporting increased positive feelings and more creativity and inspiration. This is likely because of a coupling between the human brain, cardiovascular and nervous system with resonating geomagnetic frequencies.
The Earth and the ionosphere generate some frequencies that range from 0.01 hertz to 300 hertz. Some of them are in the same frequency range as the one happening in our brain, cardiovascular system, and autonomic nervous system. This suggests one way for explaining how fluctuations in the magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun can influence us. The changes may be affect our brainwaves, heart rhythms, memory, athletic performance, and overall health.
Changes in the fields of the Earth from extreme solar activity have also linked to some of the most fabulous creations of the art of humanity, as well as some of its most tragic events.
These fields are affecting us. But, what about how we change these fields?
There is an overlap of the brain wave and heart rhythm frequencies with the field resonance of Earth. So, we are not just receivers of biologically relevant information, but also senders. For instance, our heart emits an electromagnetic field that changes according to our emotions. This field can be measured up to several feet away from our body, and it affects not only us but, also those around us.
The research made on this topic, which is still in its infancy, actually has immense ramifications for our world. Further on, it will also prove, as well as highlight the great extent to which our attitudes, emotions and intentions, matter and that these factors within the realm of non – material science, can affect all life on Earth. A coherent, and cooperative intention, could impact global events and improve the quality of life on Earth. Practicing love, gratitude, appreciation and bettering ourselves as an individual are some of the many crucial steps towards changing our planet for the better.
Image Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center