In Crocodile Dundee II, an aboriginal tracker is hired to help find the protagonist after he returns to Australia to evade operatives from a Colombian drug cartel. Upon discovering that he was to track his friend, “Mick Dundee,” however, the aboriginal tracker simply walks off and disappears into the brush. We usually think of these types of portrayals of autochthonous people as being stereotypical. After all, not every native has such a “mystical” relationship with the earth. The truth, though, may be stranger than fiction. As it turns out, there may be an actual reason that some people are more attune with the planet; at least, when it comes to their marvelous sense of direction.
Scientists have recently discovered that the human brain is surrounded by magnetite, the same material found in lodestones.1 It is not much, only one millionth of an ounce.2 Even so, the implications are that such could be impacted by the earth’s magnetic field. In fact, it is the presence of magnetite in creatures such as pigeons and whales that enable them to navigate the globe.3 During the time of Christ, the magnetic field of the earth was twice as strong as it is today. 4 Perhaps our ancestors were more like the aborigines and Native Americans caricatured in movies and on television. Maybe they had an awesome sense of direction.
In the meantime, scientists will continue studying to learn the role that magnetite plays within our brain. Regardless of their findings, though, it brings to mind the words of the Psalmist:
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth…(Psalms 139:13-15 NASB)
1 “Human Magnets | Creation Moments.” Creation vs. Evolution | Creation Science. Web. 23 Aug. 2010. <http://www.creationmoments.com/content/human-magnets-0>.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.