Crop circles are shapes that appear in fields of corn, wheat, and other crops. Many crop circles come in the shape of a circle, as their name suggests. Others however come in different shapes, such as triangles or rectangles. Most crop circles seem to have been made in the middle of the night and are only discovered the following morning by farmers or motorists.
Crop circles are a mysterious phenomena and no one knows how they are made. Various theories have been put forward aiming to explain their formation but nothing is known for certain. Some people believe that crop circles are made by aliens. Others think that they are made by horny hedgehogs mating or by stoned kangaroo-like animals who hop around fields in circles. Still others blame natural phenomena for the appearance of these circles. And of course, there are those who simply refuse to believe that crop circles are a thing. These people tend to think that crop circles have been made by hoaxers as a joke.
No one knows for sure how crop circles are formed. But they seem to have been around for quite some time (perhaps even since the 17th century). However, they only really started to appear in large numbers worldwide since the 1980s. Why that is so, no one knows either. Perhaps the media attention that crop circles have received prompted pranksters and hoaxers to go out and create their own crop circles. Or perhaps people are more aware that such things exist and are more likely to report one if they see it.
15. Early Crop Circles
Many people believe that crop circles have been around for centuries. In fact, it is said that crop circles go back as far as the 17th century. The primary evidence for this claim is a woodcut from 1678 that depicts a field with oat stalks laid out in a circle. The woodcut illustrates the “mowing devil” legend (pictured above) in which a farmer tells his worker that he would rather pay the devil to cut his oat field than pay the fee demanded by the worker.
Others claim that the first crop circle appeared in 1966 in the small Australian town of Tully. A farmer claimed that he saw a flying saucer rise from a swampy area and fly off. When he went to investigate he discovered a circular area of debris and flattened grass.
14. Stoned Wallabies Hop Around Fields And Make Crop Circles
In recent years another theory similar to the hedgehog theory has been put forward, although this theory only works in Australia and New Guinea. The theory is this: Australian wallabies (animals similar to kangaroos) eat opium poppies and then hop around “as high as a kite”, creating crop circles in the process.
The theory has been started by Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania. She claims that wallabies are entering poppy fields grown for medicine. These wallabies then get high and hop around in circles. According to Giddings, after a while these wallabies crash. But after their activity in the poppy fields, crop circles have been found. Other animals have also been spotted in these poppy fields and were also seen acting strangely.
13. No One’s Ever Reported A Crop Circle Being Made And They All Share Similarities
Most crop circles share similar features. Almost all crop circles are circular, just as their name indicates. However, some crop circles may be triangular, rectangular, or square. All crop circles are formed overnight and are only seen by farmers or other people the next morning. Most crop circles show no traces of human contact which adds to the whole mystery, and for many, eliminates the hoax theory (which assumes that crop circles are made by hoaxers). Crop circles also usually appear on fields that are close to roads and highways and fields that have easy public access. Thus, they are quickly discovered by farmers or passing motorists within a couple of days of their creation. It is interesting to note that no crop circle has ever been recorded being made.
12. Recent Boom In Crop Circles
It is said that the first real crop circles began to appear only in the 1970s. Back then, simple crop circles began appearing seemingly out of nowhere in the English countryside. In the 1980s and 1990s the number of crop circles discovered increased dramatically, perhaps because of the media coverage that they received. Ever since then, crop circles have been appearing frequently and mysteriously all over the world. More and more elaborate circles are produced each year. For example, some crop circles illustrate complicated mathematical equations like fractals. Nowadays, crop circles come in various, surprising shapes and can be found all over the world, including places such as UK, Japan, the U.S., Canada, and former Soviet Union. In total, around 10,000 cases of crop circles have been reported worldwide.
11. Mating Hedgehogs Create Crop Circles
Flying Saucer Review writer Gordon Creighton once sarcastically said that it was possible that simple crop circles were created by mating hedgehogs. His comment was meant to be sarcastic. Creighton was hoping to make fun of the media who was constantly printing outlandish stories about crop circles and the various theories behind them. However, the media actually took Creighton seriously. Creighton’s sarcastic comment soon turned into another “legitimate” theory behind crop circles and many started to believe that hedgehogs were indeed the suspects behind simple crop circles.
However, as the patterns of crop circles became more and more elaborate during the years, the theory of horny hedgehogs creating crop circles was abandoned. It was replaced by other theories. Some of them are based on logic. Others are based on the supernatural.
10. Crop Circles Are Alien Messages
Probably one of the most popular theories regarding crop circles is that they are made by extraterrestrials. Some people believe that crop circles are imprints left by spacecraft which landed on fields and then took off again. The landing of extraterrestrial spacecraft would explain how crop circles appear in the middle of fields with no tracks leading up to them.
Still others believe that crop circles are in actual fact messages written in the fields by some kind of energy beam present on extraterrestrial spacecraft. This theory became popular after more elaborately shaped crop circles began to appear and it became unlikely that spacecraft could come in such strange shapes. There apparently exist two reasons for aliens leaving messages: extraterrestrials are either using crop circles as navigation markers or are trying to communicate with humans.
9. Military Experimentation Leads To Crop Circles And Animals Burnt From Inside Out
Another theory that attempts to explain crop circles is that of military experimentation. It is said that at many crop circles locations, especially the more elaborate ones, it seems as if lasers and microwaves have been used to create the various designs. There exists evidence of stalks that have been burnt from the inside.
Apparently, small animals have also been found at these locations and they are said to look like animals that have been placed inside a microwave oven and blasted until they died. More specifically, these small animals appear to be burned from the inside out. Some people believe that this is evidence of military microwave weapons that are directed from orbiting satellites. Furthermore, according to these people, crop circles are test firings of military weapons.
8. Hoax Theory
Another theory that explains crop circles is the hoax theory. When crop circles became increasingly popular and widespread in the 1990s, two retired Englishmen, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, came forward and said that all the crop circles since 1978 have been created by them as a joke. Bower and Chorley said that they created crop circles at night to fool people into thinking that aliens were coming. They did not spare any details in explaining their methods in creating crop circles. Other hoaxers have also come forward claiming that they too were responsible for various crop circles. However, true researchers can distinguish between the fake and real crop circles rather easily. According to these researchers, even the most careful hoaxers will usually leave footprints or a path after them. Furthermore, crops bent over by hoaxers differ from the way crops are bent over in authentic crop circles.
7. Folklore And History Of Crop Circles
People who claim that real crop circles are not artificially produced link modern crop circles to old folkloric tales. For example, Walter Evans-Wentz collected a number of Celtic folklore stories in his book The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries. The author Gary Bobroff noticed that many descriptions of rings in the grass found in Wentz’s book relate to mushrooms that grow in ring formations and have been known as “fairy rings” for quite some time. However, it was also noted that some of the descriptions of rings in the grass found in the book seem to relate to crop circles as the stories describe the flattening of crops.
6. Gaia Theory Proposes That Crop Circles Are Created By The Earth (A Conscious, Intelligent Object)
Proponents of the Gaia theory claim that the earth is in actual fact a conscious, intelligent object and that it communicates with people. In this case, the earth communicates with people by creating crop circles. The researcher Colin Andrews claims that crop circles could be a method used by nature, or some other unknown intelligence, to redirect the human focus back to the environment, where it used to be before technology took over. This theory would certainly explain why crop circles constantly appear only in fields that grow food. Andrews, for example, has said that he interprets the message of the crop circles as “Look at these beautiful designs; they are in fields of crops; you will one day eat these crops. Pay attention to that which sustains life.”
5. Ley Line Theory Proposes That Crop Circles Are Created By A Mysterious Energy Under The Earth
Still others claim that the Ley Line theory offers a valid explanation for the appearance of crop circles. The Ley Line theory was first proposed and detailed in Alfred Watkins’ book The Old Straight Path. The Ley Line theory associates crop circles with ancient artifacts and buildings such as Stonehenge. In his book, Watkins pointed out that most of the curious phenomena took place either in line or in exact angles of each other. It is thought that these lines between sites run on top of energy currents which run under the earth. The main reason why ancient buildings were built on these sites is so that contact with the spirit world could be achieved. Thus, crop circles are thought to be the result of this mysterious energy under the earth.
4. Guidelines On Making A Crop Circle
If you ever feel like making your own crop circle all you need to do is follow these guidelines. First of all, you need to find a suitable field. Since trespassing is illegal, you might want to ask for the farmer’s permission in creating a crop circle on their land. You also need to make sure that the plants in the field are neither too old (they will break easily) nor too young (they won’t bend enough). Secondly, you need to plan the pattern of your crop circle. Thirdly, you may need to ask for some help. Creating a crop circle is hard work and most have been done by a group of people. You will also need suitable equipment, such as a wooden board with ropes attached to each end for stalk stomping. Fourthly, you will need to wait until it is dark to add a little bit of mystery. You will also need to walk carefully on the field, preferably on existing tractor tracks to disguise your footsteps. Once at the location, you can measure out your design. And finally, to make the crop circle: you flatten the crop by looping the rope attached to the plank of wood over your shoulders and pressing the foot onto the wood.
3. Improved Fertility Of Crops In Crop Circles
It is said that one characteristic of crop circles is the improved fertility of crops. In 1686, the chemistry professor Robert Plot noted in A Natural History of Staffordshire that the earth under geometric shapes in fields has been improved with a fat sulphurous manner. Plot believed that the strange geometric shapes were created by lightning during thunderstorms. In fact, today some people still believe that crop circles appear after severe thunderstorms. Gary Bobroff, in his book Crop Circles, Jung, and the Reemergence of the Archetypal Famine said that the 2001 Milk Hill formation which consisted of 409 individual circles was probably the best example of a crop circle that appeared after a storm.
2. Theory Suggests Crop Circles Are Made By Whirlwinds Or Tornadoes
The whirlwind theory is probably the oldest theory of crop circles. According to this theory, crop circles are made by whirlwinds or tornadoes. Whirlwinds or tornadoes swirl and sweep over fields, thus bending the crops growing on these fields.
Many discredit the whirlwind theory saying that it is not really possible for a whirlwind or a tornado to create something that would resemble a crop circle. Nonetheless, there are stories that claim otherwise. For example, in 1991 a British couple, Gary and Vivienne Tomlinson, were on their field when a crop circle formed. They say that the corn suddenly began to move and strange mist hovered over them. The whirlwind swirled around them and just as suddenly as it came the whirlwind split into two and vanished across the field, leaving a crop circle behind.
1. Crop Circles As A Form Of Art
Ever since the 1990s, various artists have been creating crop circles all over the world as part of both simple art practise and also for commercial purposes. In 1992, for example, county Berkshire in England held a crop circle making competition. The winning crop circle was made by three Westland Helicopters (a British aerospace company) engineers who won 3,000 pounds. At the end of the competition it was concluded that humans could indeed make extremely elaborate crop formations.
In 2002, Discovery Channel got five aeronautics and astronautics engineers graduate students to create crop circles that would include features of “real” crop circles.
Nowadays, there exist professional crop circle makers who are hired by various companies to create crop circles for promotional campaigns. However, even these hired professionals have to be careful of trespassing laws since their activity is not legal.