Mystery grass circles

 

Grass circles of Namibia © Thorsten Becker (Beavis729)

We all know about mystery crop circles found in farmer’s fields that have been attributed to wind patterns (and in some cases to pranksters), but there are others, far more mysterious to be seen in Namibia.

While there are no obvious plants in the Namibian desert there are thousands of perfect rings of tall, sometimes lush, grass each surrounding bare hollowed-out earth.

These grass-ringed patches are the “Fairy circles of Namibia”. One local Himba tribal myth says the circles are the footprints of the gods, another that a dragon living beneath the earth’s crust breathes fiery bubbles that burn the vegetation into the near-perfect circles!

Despite decades of investigation, scientists still haven’t come up with a definitive explanation. Even today, the circles remain one of nature’s great mysteries.

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References: Nature magazine; bbc.co.uk; UNESCO.