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Could an impending rise in solar storms cause more whales to strand?


Past research has suggested that the sun’s solar cycle can impact some whale species’ ability to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field. (Image credit: Pasi Helin via Getty Images)

An unusually explosive peak in the sun’s solar cycle is fast approaching, which could spell trouble for a surprising group of animals — whales. 

Past research showed that some larger whale species are more likely to get lost and accidentally beach themselves during solar storms, which become stronger and more frequent during the solar maximum — the most active phase of the sun‘s roughly 11-year cycle. This is likely tied to whales’ ability to navigate using Earth’s magnetic field, which becomes harder when solar storms smash into our planet.

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