What is it about?

It is well-known that dozens of animal species, some magnetotactic bacteria, and even a few plants can sense the Earth's magnetic field (geomagnetic field, GMF). However, we have not been sure whether humans can sense the GMF or not until the publication of this paper in 2019. The results in the paper for the first time show that fasted men, but not women, can sense the GMF to find magnetic direction that is food-associated, in the absence of sensory cue from the five senses.

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Why is it important?

1. This paper provides the first scientific behavioral evidence that humans can sense the GMF blue light-dependent manner. 2. The results show that an 'inclination compass' mediates humans' identification of geomagnetic direction. 3. The results indicate that the eyes are the magnetosensory organ in humans. 4. The findings show that a particular blood glucose level is essential for GMF sensing.


Based on this paper, we were able to be successful in elucidation of an underlying 'magnetic field resonance-dependent magnetoreception' mechanism for humans (Science Reports, 2022). Likewise, this paper may be possible to be set as a cornerstone for us and other researchers towards further understanding the function and mechanisms of human magnetic sense.

Kwon-Seok Chae
Kyungpook National University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Blue light-dependent human magnetoreception in geomagnetic food orientation, PLoS ONE, February 2019, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211826.
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