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Crop Circles
Crop Circles

A crop circle is a sizable pattern created by the flattening of a crop such as wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rapeseed.

In 1991, self-professed pranksters Doug Bower and Dave Chorley stated that they had started the phenomenon in 1978 by making actual circles on crops with the use of simple tools. However, crop patterns not only persisted, but became astonishingly complex. Some even came to resemble stereotypical extraterrestrials, fractals, and archaeological, religious, or mythological symbols, thus leading to speculation and passionate debate. Among others, paranormal enthusiasts, ufologists, and anomalistic investigators have offered arousing yet hypothetical explanations that have been criticized as pseudoscientific by skeptical groups like the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

Most of the observed patterns have been revealed to be products of deception, artistic expression, and business or tourism interests. Some cases have been examined by researchers via the scientific method and clearly show that something beyond men with boards is causing abnormalities in the plants within the formations. Such abnormalities include enlargement of cell wall pits, enlarged (both laterally and longitudinally) plant stem nodes, expulsion cavities (holes blown out at one or several of the plant stem nodes), hematite and magnetite contamination and various magnetic anomalies.

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