The Earth has been the focus of a massive amount of scientific study over the years. From the shrinking ozone layer to the changes in our planet’s magnetic field, there’s plenty to keep researchers busy.
Humanity has landed on the Moon and Mars, but it still hasn’t unravelled all the mysteries of Earth. For instance, did you know the Earth has a ‘heartbeat’ and it could be unknowingly impacting all of us living on this planet?
In case you didn’t know, flashes of lightning strikes our planet roughly 50 times every second, and results in the formation of low-frequency electromagnetic waves that engulf the entire planet. These are referred to as Schumann Resonances or Earth’s heartbeat and some researchers believe that they can affect human behaviour.
Flashes of lightning that strike around the earth about 50 times every second create low frequency electromagnetic waves that encompass the planet. These waves, dubbed Schumann Resonances, may have an affect on human behavior, think some scientists.
Kept up by the 2,000 or so thunderstorms that (according to NASA) batter our planet every moment, the Schumann Resonances can be found in the waves that go up to about 60 miles above in the lower ionosphere part of our atmosphere. They stay up there thanks to electric conductivity in the ionosphere that features charged ions, separated from neutral gas atoms in the area by solar radiation, as explains Interesting Engineering. This allows the ionosphere to capture electromagnetic waves.
Origin of Earth’s heartbeat
These have been named after Winfried Otto Schumann, in honour of his work on global resonances in the mid-1950s. This was first discovered in the 1960s. The waves were oscillating between greater and lower energy at a base frequency of 7.83 Hz — the frequency that’s also referred to as ‘Earth’s heartbeat’.
The reason there’s a fluctuation is due to the variations in the ionosphere and the major factor here is the intensity of solar radiation. The ionosphere becomes thinner during the night and is rather thicker during the day.
Another factor that influences the strength of the resonance is the lightning hotspots of the world — in regions like Asia, Africa and South America.
Schumann Resonances could affect humans
Studies in the past (highlighted by BigThink) have suggested that these waves actually have an impact on humans. A study from 2006 has discovered that the frequencies could be linked to different kinds of brain waves. They called this as ‘real-time coherence’ in variations in the Schumann and brain activity spectra within the 6 to 16 Hz band.
In another study from 2016, conducted by the Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory of Canada’s Laurentian University saw 238 measurements from 184 individuals over a period of three and a half years showed strange and unpredictable similarities in the spectral patterns and strengths of electromagnetic fields that were generated by human brain activity and the Earth-ionospheric resonance.
Some have even linked the Schumann Resonance of 7.83 Hz to hypnosis, meditation as well as growth hormones in humans, although there isn’t any concrete scientific evidence supporting these claims.
In the area of ‘new age science,’ many believe that the Schumann Resonance can also be affected by human consciousness. So a global rise in anxiety, tension or stress (much like what occurred during the initial months of the pandemic) could affect the Schumann Resonance. Alternatively, even an unusual spike in these frequencies could have an impact on humans and animals.
While all these sound rather scary, one can ignore them due to the lack of scientific backing behind these theories. But if it were to be proven true in the future, it’s a fascinating concept nonetheless.