Must-see before you die: Magical starling murmurations
Uncover the secrets behind this stunning natural phenomenon
On its own, the starling is somewhat unremarkable: short, thick, with dark feathers and a pointed bill. You’ve probably seen one or heard its chirpy song without thinking too much about it. But when they flock together, in what is called a murmuration, suddenly you’re witnessing the power and fantastic mystery of the natural world.
These mesmerizing flocks can number in the hundreds of thousands, and their appearance is reminiscent of those old cartoons where birds, bugs, or fish would form a fist or something humorous. When you see them in real life, however, they form breathtaking shapes, pulsating and warping, half threatening and half mocking our laws of nature. The spatial scale of the harmonized whole, moving more quickly than our human brains are capable of, is something everyone should see before they die.
Click through to see how they’ve captured humans’ imagination, the science behind how they pull it off (based on an article from How Stuff Works), and enjoy some incredible photos of their murmurations around the world.