Jatinga, where birds commit suicide ??

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Jatinga,a village on a ridge, is located in Dima Hasao District, Assam, India, has a population of around 2500. It is 330 km south of Guwahati. It is most famous for the phenomenon of birds “committing suicide”.

Most of the migratory birds visiting this area will never leave the village and just drop to death on the streets. The case gets even inscrutable, that these birds plummet to their death precisely between 06:00 pm to 09:30 pm on the moonless nights of September and October. These mass suicides only occur on a specific 1 mile by 600 feet strip of land and this phenomenon is said to have occurred year after year without a break for more than a century. Many theories have been offered by scientists to explain this phenomenon, the most popular one being that these birds are attracted towards village lights that confuse them. Another theory that makes more sense is the presence of excessive magnetic field in the area that disorients them. Though more theories continue to arise, no one has been able to prove the exact explanation behind this phenomenon.The unusual behaviour of the birds seems to occur due to the peculiar weather conditions at Jatinga. There also appears to be a correlation between the breeding period of the birds and the Jatinga phenomenon.

The phenomenon of ‘avian harakiri’, as the locals call it, was first observed by the Zeme Nagas, the inhabitant tribe of the region in the early 1900s. It frightened them so badly that they sold their land to Jaintias and left the place in 1905. The new inhabitants also observed the phenomenon, but interpreted it as a gift from God.

The phenomenon of ‘avian harakiri’, as the locals call it, was first observed by the Zeme Nagas, the inhabitant tribe of the region in the early 1900s. It frightened them so badly that they sold their land to Jaintias and left the place in 1905. The new inhabitants also observed the phenomenon, but interpreted it as a gift from God.

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