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The effect was astounding: suddenly the birds' orientation problems disappeared.
"Our measurements of the interferences indicated that we had accidentally discovered a biological system that is sensitive to anthropogenic electromagnetic noise generated by humans in the frequency range up to five megahertz", Mouritsen says.
For around 50 years it has been known that migratory birds use the Earth's magnetic field to determine their migratory direction.
Biologists have proven this in numerous experiments in which they tested the birds' navigation abilities in so-called orientation cages.
Below a certain threshold value, electrosmog has no impact on biological processes or even human health – that was the state of scientific knowledge up to now.