Misophonia is the literal hatred of sound. What sound, or sounds, depends on you. It's not all sounds, and it's not all the time. When it does strike it's randomly, and ugly. For some, it's constant. Waves. For me, it comes in waves. Today was one.
It was a woman chewing her soup, and it happened today at lunch. She was sitting just a table away from me, diagonally and perfectly aligned with my right ear. And this is common knowledge, or it should be: I have very poor eyesight, and because of this, it is my belief, theory, whatever that my auditory system has gradually made up for that slack. Call it gift or curse, it remains something to be dealt with and it's not always dealt with in the politest of ways.
If you've seen a cow, or not a cow because that's rude or will be taken as such. If you've seen a Cape Buffalo, which is a vicious creature known for it's flanking ability in battle, then chances are you've seen them eating, something they do continuously. They grind their bottom jaw in a circular motion against their stationary top jaw. Around and around that bottom jaw goes gnawing on the the grip of grass and sticks they have in there, mixing it with their saliva, smacking their fat lips. The technique, renown in bovines, is called chewin' the cud.
This woman was chewing the cud with her soup, grinding it in there, smacking her lips, slurping, burping, clanking the spoon clumsily against her teeth, all of it. I'm thinking about it now. The noises attacked, growing louder with each new spoonful. I wanted to break everything. Instead, I slammed my spoon down on her table because I no longer had use for it. I felt it an appropriate message at the time. Now, I'm seeing the holes in it, realizing how misguided, bizarre it probably was.
After the spoon, I left. No more appetite.
It was tomato soup, if you were wondering. Lugh.
Animal Navigation is exactly what it sounds like: how animals navigate accurately without any maps, instruments, assistance. Many animals and insects travel thousands of miles each year to their respective breeding grounds without so much a a gas station attendant pointing them in the general direction. For me, I need a map to get to the coffee shop. I could find it without a map. I could, but not like a whale can find a safe warm water cove 2,321 miles away on the other side of the planet. Tomato, tomato, though. Right?
There are many mehcanisms animals use to navigate accurately. Animals like birds, wasps, and bees often used remembered landmarks. I use those, too. There must be more to it than just remembering a treee or a street sign, though.
The sun plays an important role for many animals on their travels. Fish, sea-turtles, and butterflies are a few animals that use sun compass orienation in transit. However, because the sun moves, this form of navigation requires a strict internal clock. Animals that navigate by the sun use this internal clock to maintain their circadian rhythm, which is a built-in and adjusted oscillation of about 24 hours. I sleep 5-8 hours each night. I need to get me one of them circadian rhythms, ya know?
Just as some animals navigate by the sun, others navigate by the night sky. The African dung beetle is a prime example, and it's been found that it can only navigate when the Milky Way or other clusters of stars are well lit. Sounds made up, I know. It's not. Star guidance was employed by our oldest descendants, and is still used widely across the planet. Not in L.A., though.
How does a blind mole rat navigate? Through magnetoreception, of course. Blind mole rats, also pigeons, are highly sensitive to the earth's magnetic field and use its charges to accurately negotiate their paths. I don't see well, so I often employ this mechanism. It hasn't served me like I'd hoped.
Someone once asked me, "C.M., do salmons have noses that can smell?" Well, the answer may be yes. It turns out, olfaction is what enables salmon to return to the exact rivers in which they were hatched. It is believed they use magnetic fields as well, but decipher between distinct water ways using their olfactory systems.
I'm interested in how humans have affected animal navigation. I imagine you have a lot more lost animals out there.
This has been today's topic. Hope you enjoyed. Thank you.