Monday, July 27, 2015

A Little Desert Monday Mystery....!

Here's a mystery we haven't seen yet. One from the desert.

Mother Nature can create a lot of really strange mysteries for us to wonder about. This is certainly one that will have you scratching your head, I think.

Fairy Circles

Photo credit: Stephan Gatzin

In the Namibian desert, millions of evenly spaced circles dot the landscape. Their edges are lined with knee-high grass, but nothing grows in the centers—not even when fertilized soil is added.

The mystery surrounding the origin of these natural rings has inspired many theories over the decades, but none pan out to the satisfaction of everyone in the scientific community. Suggestions include the work of termites, sand-bathing ostriches and zebras, noxious plants and fungi killing circular patches of grass, subterranean gas, competing grasses, and levels of available nutrients in the soil.

While most fairy circles appear in the Namib Desert, they occupy a 1,800-kilometer-long (1,100 mi) stretch that reaches Cape Province in South Africa. One aspect of the circles that indicates systematized organization is that they never overlap, causing scientists to speculate whether the circles are competing with each other in some way. Each fairy circle can expand between 2 and 20 meters (7–65 ft) in diameter and have a lifespan of up to 75 years. No one knows what causes them to vanish.

Well, there ya go. One more mystery that we have no clue as to what causes them. Guess we aren't as smart as we think we are sometimes, right?

Coffee out on the patio agan, hot though it is.


Chickenmom said...

A really good mystery to start off the week, Mr. Hermit! Seems no one knows what they are.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Reminds me of the circles formed by mushrooms, could be some kind of related fungus growing out from a central spot and in the process, grass grows better on the leading edge for some reason but in this case there aren't mushrooms. Possibly animals won't eat the grass?

linda m said...

That is just so interesting. My best guess is some sort of fungi, but then I have been known to be wrong more than once. Should be a good discussion for the patio this morning. I'll bring some fresh homemade bread and sweet butter.

Momlady said...

Actually the circles are alien hideouts and they are just waiting for the right moment to spring forth to take over the earth and let their fellow aliens who live on that planet that closely resembles ours that it's time to invade. Just kidding. Homemade bread sounds good but I'll have to pass on the butter.

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Oh, Bubba - I love this one! And all of the above guess will work for me, though I have none of my own. I'll take you up on the bread & butter, Linda, and we can all have a char about the circles, ok?
Big hugs -

JO said...

Now that is interesting. Lots to think about here and speculate about.

Got to finish loading up monsoons heading back this way by Wed. Need to head down the Mountian tomorrow morning very early.

Dizzy-Dick said...

When I first saw the picture I thought maybe a meteor broke up and hit the earth like a shotgun blast, but as I read further, I have no idea what caused them. Talk about fairy rings - Wow!!!

Sixbears said...

Another odd one there Hermit. Their number really makes them stand out.

Rob said...

I saw circles like that in some of the dry lake bed of lake Mead in Nevada this year & wondered about them. Not as big as those in your story.

Mamahen said...

Wow...really good mystery! I have n o clue...fresh baked bread n butter sounds nice...i'm on my way :))