Unless there's something they're not telling us, animals don't actually understand physics. If they fall from the top of a tree and go splat, they have no idea that it was gravity. They only know that they are now dead. But that doesn't stop them from mastering the physical laws of the universe in ways that science just barely understands ...
5 Dogs Use an Internal Compass When They Poop
Dog owners, see if this sounds familiar:
You're out walking your dog and are about to cross a busy intersection. You've started to cross, the light is changing, and this is the moment your pooch decides to take a dump. There he is, sniffing out a spot on the asphalt and spinning around in half a dozen circles to find a position he likes while cars are honking and the driver beside you chucks a Red Bull can full of chewing tobacco spit at your face. But Mr. Poochington cannot be stopped -- in his maddeningly obsessive-compulsive way, he must lay out that turd in a very precise alignment with some crazy feng shui shit that only dogs can understand. The very last thought that crosses your mind before the old grouch in the Suburban floors it and runs you over is "Why exactly are dogs so freaking particular about exactly where they poop, anyway?"
"I learned it by watching YOU!"
Believe it or not, science just might have found an answer. After carefully monitoring nearly 7,500 shits from 70 dogs across 37 diverse breeds, researchers found that the dogs consistently laid waste along the north-south axis of the Earth's magnetic field.
And while you'd like to write that off as coincidence, or that maybe they're going by the position of the sun or some shit, scientists are pretty sure that the dogs were following a kind of built-in magnetic sensor. When they disrupted the magnetic field in the room, the pups' poop centers went haywire, dropping turds in the kind of random patterns that up to now most of you assumed were the norm for canine shits.
Do not test this at home with your dog and a microwave.
If this sounds like some kind of dog turd-based pseudoscience, it's not -- this ability to sense magnetic fields exists in a lot of species. For instance, we've mentioned before how cows have been caught feeding in the same direction on satellite imagery and foxes hunt best while using the magnetic field to triangulate their attacks. It's just that in both of those cases, the magnetic instinct seems to be put toward something useful: a unified herding behavior or an advanced targeting system. But what possible need does a dog have for spinning around and around just to find the perfect angle to play a deuce ... unless it's to flaunt its magnetic mastery in our faces.