Scientists explained source of mysterious crop circles

Scientists explained source of mysterious crop circles

The circles, ovals and rectangles, which appear from time to time in fields all over the world are not traces of alien visits. Most have completely earthy origins, explainable from the point of view of modern science.

Traces of other civilizations

The first mention of unusual geometric shapes on sown fields dates back to the end of the 17th century; strange circles are described in “The Natural History of Staffordshire” written by Oxford professor Robert Plot. Since then, this phenomenon has been mentioned more than once – one article was even published in a scientific journal called Nature, though it happened in 1880.

By the beginning of the 21st century, there were over 9,000 reports of geometric figures suddenly appearing in agricultural fields all over the world. 90% of those reports came from the UK.

Having studied dozens of such crop circles, American researchers came to the conclusion that most of these circles are the result of exposure to microtornados, which are typical, for example, for the south of England. Air rotates clockwise and crushes plants, In addition, such vortices have a charge. Therefore, dust particles trapped inside cam emit light. This explains the luminous lights mentioned by people, who witnessed the appearance of these mysterious circles.

Hello from the past

As for more complex geometric shapes, British researchers explained them as well. Archeologists working for Historic England have proven that these shapes are traces of prehistoric settlements, burial mounds and places of worship. Most often they relate to the Iron Age and the era of Roman rule.

Those parts of the field, where the foundations of ancient buildings were preserved underground, have a significantly thinner layer of fertile soil. Crops grow slower and wither faster in hot weather. AS a result, dark and light stripes are formed in the fields, repeating the contours of ancient buildings.

According to scientists, in order for the outlines of prehistoric structures to appear, there needs to be a long bout of very hot weather. Ancient foundations appear much clearer when there is little moisture in the soil.

Witch circles

A similar phenomenon is observed in the arid steppes of South Africa. So-called witch circles are often found there. These are rings of green grass with a diameter of two to 40 meters, not dying even in the dry season. Nothing grows inside them.

Such circles can exist up to 75 years. They appear and disappear suddenly, for no apparent reason. The local population believes in their otherworldly origin. But scientists believe that this is the result of termite work. Insects from the species Psammotermes allocerus, dig underground passages eating the roots of plants and creating bold spots on the surface. There is no vegetation in the center of the rings, so nothing can suck out the water form the soil and evaporate it. As a result, water quickly seeps through the sand and remains there for a long time. Thanks to this reservoir, the grass in the ring always remains green.

However, not everyone agrees with this explanation. American biologists point out that witch circles are too regular to be a termite creation. The rings of plants form perfect circles, and these structures themselves, as a rule, are removed from each other at equal distances.

Most likely, ants really play an important role in the initial stage of ring formation, when water is distributed in a certain way around tunnels. The plants also play a part in this process, striving to grow through areas rich with moisture and competing with each other for access to water. In the end, much more vegetation grows around such hidden underground reservoirs than in neighboring areas. And in dry seasons, when most plants die, which circles do not face. If the termite colony dies, the plants gradually grow inside its former territory, filling the ring with greenery.

When a new colony of termites settles inside this green circle, the process starts anew, only now the witch circle has not one, but two rings of greener

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