maps

Sea Monsters of Olaus Magnus' Carte marina

Meet the monsters of the deep...

Blow Your Mind: How do Animals Map the World?

Humans aren't the only map masters on the planet. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I explore the amazing ways that animals turn space into place and navigate the world around them. Following on the heels of our previous two map episodes, this venture deals with everything from magnetic fields and landmarks to scent trails and the movements of the sun.

Blow Your Mind: "The Map-Addled Brain"

According to Ken Jennings (yes, that Ken Jennings) in his book, "Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks," maps show us two kinds of places: the familiar stomping grounds of our personal geography and far-flung lands that quietly beckon, intertwining the past, present and future. In this episode we'll find out what's going on in the noggin when we look at a map, why we're biased toward an x/y axis and why a London cab driver has such an extraordinarily large hippocampus.

Maybe I had "Lost" on the brain (season premiere tonight!), but this story on EurekAlert! caught my eye. Men and women no longer have to fight over which gender needs a map and which one doesn't. It's genes, not gender, that could make the difference. Keep reading to see how researchers tried to establish a link between human navigational abilities.