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Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Curiosities |

The mysterious Fairy circles of Namibia

The mysterious Fairy circles of Namibia

The people of southern Angola is believed that the footprints of the gods and science fails to give a satisfactory explanation for the phenomenon. The so-called fairy circles in the thousands in the desert of Namibia . Its origin is all a mystery why a team of biologists from the Florida State University has been dedicated to its study.

Few researchers have studied the phenomenon of in detail, the affected area is difficult to access, is a remote and inhospitable, the nearest town is about 200 kilometers and temperatures reach 45° C during the day and overnight drop to zero degrees.

Tschinker Walter , a biologist at the University of Florida has failed to solve the mystery of the fairy circles but thought to form by the action of living things that come and go on a tour lasting several decades. That led him to determine that the circles have a life cycle that makes them appear and disappear on a regular basis. The circles are thousands on the ground, their dimensions ranging between 2 and 12 meters across and within their area the grass does not grow.

Tschinkel discovered the phenomenon in 2005 while on vacation in NamibRand Nature Reserve , a nature reserve dedicated to the conservation of fauna and flora. There, a guide showed, for the first time, the fairy circles. At first thought Tschinkel circles were the work of subterranean termite colonies that ended with grass, also thought it might be because of some toxic gas or vapor emanating from underground. Soon dismissed these and other ideas. The researcher says:

The question of why they form is very difficult to solve. There on the table a number of hypotheses, but the evidence is not convincing for any of them.

The mysterious Fairy circles of Namibia image 2

In the journal PLoS One shows the recent work of Walter Tshinkel which puts on the table the idea of the life cycle of the circles. Young children have an average life of 24 years, the largest can “live” until 75. The work does not explain the origin of this phenomenon but provides new data that may, ultimately, clarify the mystery. With the help of aerial photos, satellite imagery and reserve personnel, Tschinkel worked on comparing images taken between 2004 and 2008 and found that the number of circles is more than stable. It was discovered that tend to form in sandy soils with few rocks, and vegetation over time takes place inside the empty space.

Tschinkel, believes the fairy circles of will remain a mystery because science never get to explain. This tireless biologist hopes to return to the region, throughout the year and at different times, as testing as has been observed circles are formed after the rainy season.

In the last decade NamibRand Park Nature Reserve has been visited by many tourists who contribute to the conservation of fairy circles “adopting” one for $50. Once adopted, the circle, the “owners” are the longitude and latitude of the circle in order to verify their status in Google Earth.

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