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Aflockalypse Makes for a Great Science Mystery

aflockalypse, mass animal deaths

Kids love a mystery.

Sure, the natural world’s been a freak show lately: birds falling out of the sky, fish washing ashore and, now over in Italy, turtle doves hanging dead in trees like Christmas ornaments. I’m not the least bit inclined to think of things like End Times when I read about these stories. But I’m also not ready to throw my hands in the air and claim these things are beyond me.

Instead, when yet another story mass die-offs hits the internet my first reaction is: interesting! And then, of course, I want to know why. Kids want to know, too, which is why these gruesome events are also kind of awesome.

Heather’s helped everyone keep their wits about them with her clear takes on just what’s going on and how serious these different incidents are (not very).

I also can’t help but think some good teachers are already turning these news stories and darker worldly things into totally absorbing lessons in science. Scientific method, formulating hypotheses, testing them and so on.

My own 9-year-old has been on a mystery reading jag for the past year and she’s always hankering to solve the mysteries in our lives. Bad mom that I am, we just don’t have dead bodies laying around the house. I don’t invite random strangers in for coffee. We live in the urban jungle so there are no boarded up, rambling mansions with one-eyed widows peering around the front door.

Aflockalypse, though, offers up the dead bodies that have always been missing from her investigations. Google maps, which has an official Aflockalypse map and the rest of the internet offer the clues.

Let’s take away some of the supernatural drama that have surrounded these events and look at it for what it is: a real-time mystery for every kid to think about. And eventually, for one of them to solve.

Photo: sciencenow.com

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