Imagine intelligent yet shy faerie the size of a tennis ball capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) are planning a mass migration from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, UK to their mating ground in Krung thep mahanakhon bovorn ratanakosin mahintharayutthaya mahadilok pop noparatratchathani burirom udomratchanivetmahasathan amornpiman avatarnsathit sakkathattiyavisnukarmprasit, Thailand. The main flocks can easily make this intercontinental trip within 2 to 3 months with fewer rest generally lasts upward of 12 hours, smaller flocks have been found at many hotspots across the Asia and Europe and sometimes Africa.

Their flight ceiling is around 100m above sea level normally but in this mass transmigration they can push their limits to 10,000m unaided! Biologist discovered their blood has extremely high amount of haemoglobin which explains why they could metabolise with such thin air at higher altitudes.

Traditionally they would rely on the quantum entanglement to sense Earth's feeble magnetic field and an old hand drawn map for navigation, however recent studies had indicated that many faerie are using our road line map instead. I have been wondering how could their innate natural compass be compatible with our current Google map (a paper map indicating all the existing road lines)?

P.S. Faerie are non tech savvy/ computer illiterate if you will.

  • $\begingroup$ Shout-out to any non native who could pronounce the names ;D $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Jan 21, 2021 at 3:14
  • $\begingroup$ Are you saying they have a paper road map? Or are you saying they are downloading Google somehow? $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Jan 21, 2021 at 3:17
  • $\begingroup$ @SRM: I meant map with road lines. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Jan 21, 2021 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ Why a character or characters do something is potentially endless, but you haven't given us enough information to answer the question. At what altitude do they generally fly? At 20m a street map would be helpful as a mostly clear path between buildings; at 10,000m not so much. Do they use flying beasts of burden somehow? Are they prone to detours for tourist spots? $\endgroup$
    – rek
    Jan 21, 2021 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps for the same reason I sometimes follow roads when I'm flying my plane. (Or more often, just use them as landmarks). Works a lot better than a compass, usually. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jan 21, 2021 at 4:32

3 Answers 3


Roads between buildings, thanks to the Venturi effect, increase the wind velocity.

In fluid dynamics, an incompressible fluid's velocity must increase as it passes through a constriction in accord with the principle of mass continuity, while its static pressure must decrease in accord with the principle of conservation of mechanical energy

Your fairies have VTOL capabilities, but having a good kick from the wind to get the right horizontal speed with less effort helps a lot for such a long migration.

The road map helps them in choosing the right one based on the local wind at the moment of takeoff.

(Ironically while I was typing this I had to stop and raise the roller shutters, because a BF6 wind is blowing outside, and the road where my house is located has already proven capable of making nasty things with such strength)


The roads provide an updraft, allowing them to glide

They're not following the road directly, they're following the pocket of nice warm rising air above it. When the sun hits black tarmac, it creates a thermal updraft, giving them free lift.

This allows the fairies to glide without flapping their wings, saving energy for their long migration and allowing them to travel further without a break.


Need a modern map? Even understand most of the information on it? No no no but human road maps are the newest, shiniest thing out (c.1910) and the fey are on a modern-ish kick at the moment. Not wanting to be left behind by the new fashion for human culture fairies are buying maps and even hiring cars to drive the migration route with them.

There is also the convenience factor, why draw a map, especially one that has to reasonably accurately represent actual real world terrain, at considerable inconvenience when the humans make really good ones these days and they're easily acquired?


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