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NASA has commissioned a new study that may potentially solve the longstanding marine mystery of why some sea creatures become beached.
Despite occurring all over the world and happening throughout the ages, what is behind the beaching phenomenon has proven to be a vexing question for scientists.
It is particularly puzzling because the creatures often display no signs of illness or any other reason for why they swam to shore.
However, the impending investigation by NASA looks at a somewhat surprising possible source for the inexplicable behavior: solar storms.
The proposed theory is that the creatures wind up on beaches because turbulent solar activity disrupts the geomagnetic energy of Earth and, in turn, the internal navigation system of aquatic animals like whales and dolphins.
Researchers working for the space agency plan to collect an enormous cache of data concerning the beaching events and then compare it to past solar storm activity in the hopes of spotting a trend.
Should that be the case, animal rescue workers say, they might be able to predict when the next beaching may take place and prepare for an influx of disoriented sea creatures at areas where the beachings are particularly prevalent.
While certainly a noble idea, one would imagine that it would require a fair amount of courage to wait on the beach for a confused whale to come barreling out of the ocean at you.
Source: CBS News