Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
Saru

Mystery 'fairy circles' stump scientists

29 posts in this topic

Nobody is able to explain the strange, bare circular patches that appear in the Nimibian grasslands.

In the sandy desert grasslands of Namibia in southern Africa, mysterious bare spots known as "fairy circles" will form and then disappear years later for no reason anyone can determine.

arrow3.gifRead more...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like something underneath the soil that is helping this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your avatar is super cute. :3

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there would have to be a lot of fairies to create so many circles.im sure they have other things to be doing with their time..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else find them REALLY creepy? There's a definite 'YUK'factor there for me! They look like sores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems I saw a documentary on this a few years back, and they determined that this was caused by a fungus.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magic.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems I saw a documentary on this a few years back, and they determined that this was caused by a fungus.

In my local parks and rec's we get dark green circles of grass that remind me of these fairy circles, I believe these too are fungi related (well my fuzzy recollection of being told this believes this). This also reminds me of types of bushes that grow outwards in a circular shape leaving no foliage in the centre.

Interesting article, thanks for posting Saru.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It probably is a type of fungus or insect,or maybe even gas bubbles ? but I still like the good old fairy circle story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else find them REALLY creepy? There's a definite 'YUK'factor there for me! They look like sores.

Yeah, i find it to, its like graves where been there and the soles are still there in there places, its creepy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lemme guess UFOs? ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the real cause is due to a little known and very rare creature called the Lesser Spotted Six legged Pygmy Limping Hyrax Pig. This creature is very small and rarely seen due to it's ability to camoflage itself (like a chameleon). The legs on the right side of it's body are shorter than those on the left causing the creature to move in circles when it walks. Hence, as it walks round in circles, feeding off the grass, you end up with these bare patches.

I feel sure that Tailormaneinafog aka Sunny Blues will back me fully on this one :)

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fairies wear boots

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally Love Fairies, and to add circles to them makes it oh so much more intriging, oh yes, oh yes indeed! OMG, I think I just......well ya know.

Go Fairy Circles!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe we aint mint to find the cause

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fungus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some things just cannot be explained with science and it something walks in circles how does it function? That is a hilarious explanation but something we just arent meant to know or understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i want to believe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers MadMike, the pictures half way down on the right are exactly what I see in my local grass/play areas. Ties in nicely with the Myths thread I was reading earlier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It probably is a type of fungus or insect,or maybe even gas bubbles ? but I still like the good old fairy circle story.

Fungus or insects that destroy grass in circles. Thats new.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tschinkel does not offer any explanation for the Circles, but was able to rule out some previously offered ones. The most obvious explanation is a fungal or other microbial agent, as with Fairy Rings, but the growth pattern does not match this and no such agent could be found. Another popular explanation is a chemical agent, such as fumes from a subterranean hydrothermal seep, though again no such agent could be found. It has been suggested that the activities of ground-dwelling Termites might be responsible, but no connection between the Circles and Termites has been found.

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2012/06/namibian-fairy-circles.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A fungus is certainly a possibility, but there are also plants toxic to other plant species that use a chemical warfare of sorts. It is possible that this starts as a single grass seedling, that produces offsets. Many desert plants have clonal colonies that expand outward in a more or less circular pattern from a single pioneer. As the offsets expand outward from the center they leave behind a root system that either uses all the available moisture within the circle (in a semi-arid climate), preventing other seeds from germinating, or giving off toxins that stop all other species from germinating or growing, sort of a natural "Round Up" weed killer. It would be interesting to see if the particular grass that grows around the edges of the circles would have toxic qualities to other plant life when planted in containers with other species, and whether this grass is ONLY found on the edges of such circles. Also what happens to other less mobile vegetation (like a single trunked shrub) outside the circle when approached by the grass? Does it begin to adversely effect and eventually kill the shrub? The chemistry within the circles could have agricultural and perhaps pharmaceutical applications.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These 'Fairy circles' were apparntly created when JuniorChubb layed upon the grass and left his imprint.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fungus feels about right.

I wonder if they ever tried to grow grass right in the middle of a circle? hmmm

anyway the follwing makes a lot of sense to me:

"That's science, isn't it?" Tschinkel said. "If you knew the answer ahead of time, it wouldn't be much fun."

right, and if you knew all the answers you would not be here at UM. I like that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.