Dogs can sense the magnetic field. And even better yet, you can even train them to hunt down a bar magnet. Why you would want to do this? For that, the research team at the University of Duisburg-Essen offered no clues. They just did it.

The group had previously shown that dogs – just like many other animals, including migrating birds and honeybees – are sensitive to the earth’s magnetic field. In fact, this earlier research established that dogs have a tendency to urinate when aligning themselves along the field lines.

The researchers suggest that this sense might explain some of those anecdotal news stories, where dogs find their ways home over vast distances after getting lost.