What Inspired Birds to Slam Into Homes, Alfred Hitchcock to Make a Movie About It?

Posted by on January 4th, 2012

The Birds explained

You may not know that the 1963 Hitchcock masterpiece The Birds was inspired by real events. But two years prior, a swarm of the normally docile Sooty Shearwaters which rarely come to shore at all, began slamming into houses inexplicably.

Hitchcock, who frequented nearby Santa Cruz, thought the story was so compelling he crafted the suspense classic.

The film never explained why the birds went rogue, which echoed reality. Until now. Louisiana State University oceanic researchers now hypothesize that it could have been poison red algae that created the airborne attacks.

In a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Bargu argues that “toxin-making algae were present in 79 percent of the plankton” the birds ate. The toxins contained “a nerve-damaging acid, which causes confusion, seizures and death in birds.”

“All the symptoms were extremely similar to later bird poisoning events in the same area,” Bargu said.

Pretty terrifying stuff.

[Marquee Blog]

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