It might sound like some kind of crazy conspiracy theory, but a lot of very smart people are convinced that the Earth's magnetic poles are flipping - and that is leading to a lot of bizarre weather patterns, unexplained events in the atmosphere (just Google "trumpet sounds in the sky"), and lots of animals behaving strangely. Like these Arctic reindeer. These reindeer are running around in circles in Russia near the Arctic Circle. (In this YouTube video from secureteam10, skip to the 4:33 mark or you can also watch the original Russian video on Facebook)
It's almost like the giant magnetic field around the North Pole is changing, and that is screwing up the internal navigation systems of the reindeer. They literally don't know where to go or what to do, so they spin around in circles. Birds and fish are another great example - the Internet is filling up with strange stories of birds and fish getting their migration patterns screwed up and landing in the wrong places (or just falling from the sky).
What happens if the Earth's magnetic poles flip?
The worrisome thing here is that animals acting strangely is just the start. Weather patterns are going to get stranger and stranger, and the final results might even be apocalyptic. In February 2018, National Geographic reviewed the book The Spinning Magnet by Alanna Mitchell, who claims that the flipping of the magnetic poles is an event that happens throughout the history of the Earth. The last time the poles flipped was 780,000 years ago, so nobody alive (and nobody in the entire history of humanity) has any idea of what might happen next.
But scientists have a few theories of what might happen. Auroras (e.g. "The Northern Lights") might start popping up all over the world. Migration patterns of animals and fish might change. And communications satellites could be rendered inoperable. In fact, the electrical grids used to power entire cities could be thrown out of whack. Additionally, if the magnetic poles flip, then Earth will no longer be protected from harmful radiation from the sun, exposing humanity and all of nature to massive amounts of UV radiation. As Mitchell notes in her interview:
"The consequences for life on Earth are potentially devastating."
Let's hope that scientists are wrong. And yet, somehow, I can't get the image of those wildly spinning reindeer out of my head.
Reindeer photo by Warren Sammut on Unsplash
Aurora photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash