BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A team of scientists from Germany is closer to understand a strange land phenomenon known as fairy circles. Building on data gathered from the Namib Desert since the early ’70 and from Australia, the researcher believe that the phenomenon can be explained using three theories.
Fairy circles are dry patches of land found scattered throughout the grassland of the Namib Desert. As one might believe, these mysterious formations have puzzled the scientific community for quite a while one.
In fact, the earlier scientific attempt to explain the phenomenon date back to the early ‘70s, when several research team set out to the Namib Desert in order to study the formation of fairy circles.
Why are they called fairy circles? According to Stephan Getzin, the lead author of a new study centered on the mysterious barren patches of land, local lore often attributes supernatural explanations for these seemingly unnatural occurrences.
For example, the strange barren patches have gotten their name after a tale which depicts how fairies come overnight in the field of dry grass in order to perform their magical dance. Others believe that these patches represent the footsteps of God.
And of course, no local lore cannot be complete without UFOs, ghosts, werewolves, dragons and other hobgoblins of little minds, as Emerson would put it when talking about consistency in thinking.
What’s so unique about this new study?
Doctor Stephan Getzin, the lead author of the study, who is also the director of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental researcher, said that although most of the folk-like explanations are indeed interesting, there are in fact several scientific theories that can account for this changes.
Getzin also mentioned that the data from the ‘70s expeditions along with several new readings which were taken from Australia more than two years ago helped him and his team to address the mysterious phenomenon.
According to the German team of researchers, three theories can account for the so-called fairy circles. The first theory suggests the presence of underground gas shafts. Carbon monoxide rising from the deep may finish off the vegetation in that area, thus creating the circle-like pattern.
The second theory notes that insects, more specifically termites may have something to do with the mysterious patches of land. According to the scientists, ants and termites can eat the roots of grass in specific areas.
And the last theory, and the most plausible, according to Getzin, suggests that the lawn in different fields can self-organize itself in order to have access to a source of water.
In conclusion, Getzin and his team said that even though that folklore is kind of interesting, there is a lot of data to suggest that the fairy circles are indeed a natural phenomenon, not the workings of supernatural beings.