Every once in a while someone catches the mysterious phenomenon known as murmuration on film–when hundreds or even thousands of starlings engage in an aerial ballet, gliding and twisting in unison as if the birds are capable of precognition.
The most recent video of the phenomenon comes from filmmaker Neels Castillon, who was working on a commercial over Marseille, France, when he noticed the birds. See the video below.
“We were shooting for a commercial with my D.O.P., waiting for an helicopter flying into the sunset, when thousands and thousands of birds came and made this incredible dance in the sky,” Castillon wrote about the video. “It was amazing, we just forgot our job and started this little piece of poetry … Enjoy!”
Little is known about how the starlings are able to achieve such a synchronized dance, but scientists believe that the answer lies in physics, not biology, and is more related to how avalanches erupt and crystals form than precognition, according to this article in Wired magazine.
Whatever the scientific explanation for the phenomenon, at the very least it should remind us that we are but a small cog in Mother Nature’s vast and beautiful universe.