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Parabolic Facial Formation

The Owl and Its Parabolic Face

Owls are known to be a symbol of wisdom throughout history in ancient Greece, Asia, and America. They are also unquestionably mysterious predators. This mystery derives from the math they seem to be utilizing during the hunt: owls can use the parabolic system to spot their prey. This system is “...
| Hakan Oztunc | Issue 141 (May - Jun 2021)

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The Owl and Its Parabolic Face

In This Article

  • From hunting stars in outer space to how owls hunt at night, parabolas in mathematics guide us to understand some of the marvels in the universe.
  • Owls receive all transmitting sounds in their ear holes in their heart-shaped face, which looks more like two symmetrical parabolas.
  • Optical infrared telescopes scan the entire universe and collect incoming data in the same way an owl’s face collect the sound waves at specific points.

Owls are known to be a symbol of wisdom throughout history in ancient Greece, Asia, and America. They are also unquestionably mysterious predators. This mystery derives from the math they seem to be utilizing during the hunt: owls can use the parabolic system to spot their prey.

This system is “parabolic facial formation,” which is a unique feature of owls, and it describes the design of their faces by way of which they adjust to incoming sounds and catch their prey even in the darkest nights. This is the same formation in the structures of radio telescopes by which new planets are discovered in the depths of space. From hunting stars in outer space to how owls hunt at night, parabolas in mathematics guide us to understand some of the marvels in the universe.


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