I Can't Believe There Isn't a Single Collision in This Massive Swarm of Birds

By Andrew Liszewski on at

Filmmaker Jan van Ijken’s documentary, The Art of Flying, captures the hypnotic movements of hundreds of thousands of starlings flying in massive flocks that appear to be completely random and chaotic, but miraculously, not a single mid-air collision ever occurs.

Murmurations, as these starling flocks are also known, are especially intriguing to researchers as there isn’t a single bird leading the pack, despite the giant cloud of feathers being able to seemingly turn on the same pivot point. When a random bird changes its speed or direction, the rest of the flock matches its movements almost instantaneously, allowing thousands of birds to effectively evade larger airborne predators.

Humans can barely navigate roads with a few other cars on them without causing a fender bender, but maybe someday when autonomous cars are commonplace our highways will look more like this?

[Jan van Ijken via Vimeo via The Kid Should See This]

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