India’s Bermuda Triangle for Birds

Chuck Banner | April 20th, 2017

The village of Jatinga, in India, plays host to a curious natural phenomenon every year. For nearly 100 years, between September and November and after the area’s monsoon season ends, thousands of birds plunge into the village and die.

The birds only do this on dark nights, when it is foggy or when they moon provides little light. It also only occurs between the hours of 6 and 10pm. It is thought that these birds become disoriented in the dark and fly towards the lights of the village. Some of the birds accidentally fly into windows and poles, which caused many to believe that they were somehow committing suicide. This theory has been debunked, though, as it has emerged that most of the birds are killed by the villagers, who are clubbed to death and then eaten. Residents of Jatinga even admit to turning on lights or lighting torches to attract them.

jungleideas.files.wordpress.com
jungleideas.files.wordpress.com

Though it is now known that the birds are not killing themselves, scientists are still puzzled as to why the birds are becoming so disoriented and flying into a death trap. Over 40 species of bird are involved in the annual event, so it cannot be explained by breed-specific behavior. There are also no long distance migratory birds involved in this phenomenon, either. So far, only local bird species, who should be less prone to disorientation and getting lost near to their home, have exhibited this destructive behavior.

Another strange aspect of this annual event is its restricted geographic location. The birds only fly towards the lights in a mile-long strip of land that is less than 100 feet wide. Attempts to place lights to attract the birds to adjacent areas have all failed. They also all fly in from the north only.

Some researchers have suggested that a combination of factors, including fog, altitude, and high winds, cause the birds to become disoriented and fly to the lights in an attempt to stabilize. It is also possible that the lights in the village are bright enough in themselves to disorient the birds.

Whatever the reason, conservation groups in the area have been working to stop the villagers from killing the birds. This has been an uphill battle since many see them as a gift from god, but they have managed to decrease the bird murders by at least forty percent over the past several years. Some hope to convince residents to use the phenomenon to attract tourists to the area, thereby boosting incomes and providing jobs. This has also had some effect, as a few hotels have sprung up to house visitors to Jatinga. It could be that the annual bird visitations could turn into a watching event, rather than the feasting event it currently is.

Next Article
  • In 1962 Maryland Declared Jousting Their Official State Sport

    One would have thought that jousting was reserved for a bygone time, the medieval ages. A time of knights, kings, and princesses; all galloping furiously on their noble steeds. Tipped from head to toy in ancient armor, jousting was a sport that was much loved for decades. Of course, as we entered the modern times...

    Read More
  • There Has Only Ever Been One Submarine VS Submarine Fight Ever!

    A famous film that dramatized underwater battle for the whole world to see is, of course, The Hunt For Red October, it portrayed a nerve-racking experience with crews deep under the ocean searching for their enemy with sonar. And though it is true that hunting undersea enemies is, of course,...

    Read More
  • Nuclear Pasta The Strongest Material In The Universe

    If you happen to be in the industry of creating the strongest materials in the universe, then you are in luck. We have the recipe and it only takes three easy steps: Find yourself one dying star and put into your favorite boiling pot, boil it until it goes supernova and explodes. Beware this could...

    Read More
  • Sometimes Little Galaxies Are Actually Cannibals

    Astronomers around the globe have long seen big galaxies like the Milkyway swallow up some of their little brothers and sisters. In fact, the sky is full of cannibals. They swallow up stars that are in their cosmic neighbors, and over time eat up whole galaxies. It seems only natural, that even in space, the...

    Read More
  • A 20 Min Extra Commute Is Worse On The Mind Than A Pay Cut

    A new study into what is seen as most negative when it comes to our daily work routines shows that being told you will need to commute an extra 20 mins to get home is just as bad as being informed about a pay cut. When it comes to job satisfaction it seems that commuting...

    Read More
  • The Oolichan Fish That Can Be Used As A Candle

    Oolichan fish is a type of fish that is so greasy it can actually be burnt and used as a candle. Hence it has the popular nickname the candlefish. The Oolichan is seen as a savior for many North Coast First Nations, the indigenous tribes of the Pacific northwest coast. This is because even though...

    Read More
  • Walt Disney’s Not So Happy Family

    You would think that growing up around animated series and seeing the creation of Disneyland first hand, would ensure that you would become a loving and happy family. In the case of Walt Disney’s grandchildren, this is just not the case, Michelle and her twin brother Brad Lund is far from being the happiest family...

    Read More