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Texas, United States


The Lingering Mystery Of Crop "Art"

Twenty-six countries reported approximately 10,000 crop circles in the last third of the 20th century; 90% of those were located in southern England. Many of the formations appearing in that area are positioned near ancient monuments, such as Stonehenge

According to one study, nearly half of all circles found in the UK in 2003 were located within a 15 km (9.3 miles) radius of Avebury. Archaeological remains can cause crop marks in the fields, in the shapes of circles and squares, but they do not appear overnight and they are always in the same places every year.
Crop circles were first noticed in the 1970's when simple circles began appearing in the English countryside. The number and complexity of the circles increased dramatically, reaching a peak in the 1980's and 1990's when increasingly elaborate huge circles were produced, including those illustrating complex mathematical equations and known illustrations. The precision and detail is amazing.

While there are countless theories, the only known, proven cause of crop circles is humans. Their origin remained a mystery until September 1991, when two men confessed that they had created the patterns for decades as a prank to make people think UFOs had landed. They never claimed to have made all the circles — many were copycat pranks done by others — but their hoax launched the crop circle phenomena

Most crop circle researchers admit that the vast majority of crop circles are created by hoaxers. But, they claim, there's a remaining tiny percentage that they can't explain. The real problem is that (despite unproven claims by a few researchers that stalks found inside "real" crop circles show unusual characteristics), there is no reliable scientific way to distinguish "real" crop circles from man-made ones. There are many theories, besides human intervention,  about what creates crop circles, from aliens to mysterious wind patterns, but they all lack one important element: good evidence. Perhaps one day a mysterious, unknown source will be discovered for crop circles, but until then perhaps they are best thought of as collective public art. They do capture ones imagination and are fascinating to contemplate.

The designs are thought to be created by  someone stomping down the stalks with a flat board. Wheat, barley, or rape(canola oil) are the most common crops they are found in but can also appear in rye, maize, 
and a number of others

That sounds like it could get pretty tiring after awhile, stomping out one of those really huge intricate patterns. Size can vary from circles of just a foot or so across to designs covering many hundreds of feet

Crop circles have intrigued me ever since I saw the
first pictures of them because they always seem so
precise and symmetric and totally out of place. I consider whoever or 
whatever creates them to be unique, and a little strange, that
so much effort would be spent perfecting an intricate design
in various fields that nature or 
harvesting would eventually erase. It boggles my
mind to think that just two men could create any of these
immense designs,  in only the moons light, overnight.


Jill Paterson said...

Crop circles have always fascinated me too, Anna. I can't see how some of the more intricate patterns could be done overnight and in the dark.
Great post and wonderful pictures. The patterns are so perfect.

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Jill. I have pondered a lot of the photos and wondered why there are not more obvious paths stomped down leading to them. Of course, the shots are from above and I suppose those ridges would allow someone to walk down them. Still, it is fascinating how they get them so precise.

DMS said...

Crop circles are so interesting. I am always amazed when I see pictures of them. The time it must take to create such intricate patterns (unless aliens are creating them with some technology we don't know about). Creating such artwork overnight sounds very complicated and tiring. Those hoaxers must have had a good plan.

Two years ago I read a MG book and the characters create a crop circle. It was the first time I heard of boards being using to stomp down the stalks. The book was called Signals.

What a fabulous post- I loved all the pictures. :)

Grundy said...

Enough have been shown to be done by people that I feel it's safe to assume the rest were done by people.
They are cool...unless the crops belong to you. :-)

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Jess! This crop "art" has long fascinated me too. It amazes me how the intricate patterns are so symmetric. When I used to create original designs on ceramics, I used to start at a point and work out and if I made a mistake, I could paint over and "fix" it. These make me wonder if they make a mistake,they have to incorporate it into the design, though I can't detect any "mistakes."

Anna Maria said...

Grundy...I think most are done by people also, and other than the two who confessed, not sure what the reasons are. I suppose if you don't have permission to go into a field you have to sneak in by cover of night. I am sure the growers could get pretty ticked off if a lot of the crop is stomped down. :)

oneperson said...

Enjoyed this Anna.

"Lingering Mystery" ... that describes this subject well.

I enjoy mystery and hope to never lose that aspect of life and to be open to it as well.

I have an affinity for open windows and sunroofs, but I do like screens in the buggy months. ;-)


Anna Maria said...

Happy you enjoyed the post, Carol. I have always been curious about a lot of "mysterious" things and I also hope I never lose the lust to delve into them to find out as much as I can about them and draw my own conclusions.

Yes, screens during the "buggy" months are a good thing. :D


Honestly I can't wrap my mind around crop circles. How are they made? Some of those designs are so intricate. I think it would be cool to watch the process but I suppose that would take all the mystery out of it.