Murmuration-synchronized flying by a flock of starlings

You may have seen this, but if you haven’t…it will leave you breathless!

This video went viral in late 2011.  In response, Wired magazine writer and coincidentally, a college friend, Brandon Keim, decided to look into the science behind this amazing event.  It turns out that we actually don’t know much about how it all works in a biological sense.  But a theoretical physicist named Giorgio Parisi has tried to explain it using mathematical models.  From what I understand, it’s called scale-free correlation so essentially the birds are somehow connected or correlated to each other so that when one bird moves, its neighbor responds and moves with it.  Depending on the size of the flock, this can correlated movement can create different patterns.

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