The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Part B

Last week I described how the patterns of our brain waves control different states of consciousness. By altering these patters, we can induce many mental and emotional states, such as sleep, anxiety, calmness, and concentration. Several technological applications already try to take advantage of this mechanism for the treatment of humans.

As of today, we are able to transmit magnetic waves over a short distance that can manipulate a person’s state of consciousness. But as technology advances, we could one day broadcast a certain frequency over a broad area of space. When this becomes finally practical, it will certainly have many uses in the animal kingdom…

Future Nature Logo


First of all, farmers could use this technique to ward off pesticides off their fields. Imagine a grasshopper that falls asleep when he’s nearing the edge of the broadcast-protected zone, or a bird that becomes anxious in the vicinity of her favourite fruit garden and therefore flies away.

Another possible application would be the improvement of dairy production. Cows could be excited during a certain time of day to make more milk, while enjoying a “good night sleep” at other times due to relaxing patterns, thus recuperating faster and better in time for the next milking.

Domestic Uses

Flies in the summer pose a major annoyance. But what if we could make them fall asleep when zooming past the garden fence. We will feel confident to sleep with the window wide open! Same thing goes for dogs that tend to bark excessively during the night.

Jay Torborg photographing a sleeping lion
Photo by Jay Torborg

Entertainment and Recreation

Have you ever fantasized about entering the tigers’ cage in the zoo and petting their beautiful fur? Doing it nowadays would mean becoming a tiger’s lunchtime dessert. But in the future, we could neutralize their aggressive behavior and killer instincts without putting them to sleep. They’d be awake and gentle at the same time.

And what about the monkey in the cage next door? He knows a few tricks, but it takes weeks and months to teach him those tricks. However, beta waves are known to be activated in humans when we concentrate. If we can induce beta waves (or their equivalent) in monkeys, elephants and dolphins — their training will progress much more easily and much faster.

In the jungle of science, the lion may very well sleep tonight.

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