There are many weird things on this planet that certain people attribute to the presence of extraterrestrial activity, be it some sunken city off the coast of Florida, an imaginary triangle in the Atlantic, or a constant barrage of disappearing cows. Some of these might have more interesting explanations than others, but it’s really a moot point until these seemingly impossible events are debunked. For today, let’s look at Crop Circles.
What are Crop Circles?
A Crop Circle is more than the handiwork of some disgruntled farmer. What it looks like is a pattern made on a field by flattening crops in a specific way. Usually, that crop is a cereal of some kind. The edges are often so clean that it looks like it was created with a machine. Although the stalks are bent, they are not damaged. Most of the time, the crop continues to grow as normal. Sometimes, the patterns are simple circles, but in other instances, they are elaborate designs consisting of several interconnecting geometric shapes. However, no… aliens were probably not using our planet to solve their geometry problems.
When did we first notice these?
The first crop circle observation dates back to 1678 in Hertfordshire, England. The report stated, “The farmer seems to have seen a bright light, like fire, in his field on the night the field was mysteriously mowed.” It was believed that the devil was actually mowing the field with his scythe. That might have been true, assuming that the devil doesn’t have much to do on a Saturday night than converting the field into a discotheque.
Crop Circles have gained recent popularity, and many people have reported the formation of Crop Circles in their fields. In the 1960s, in Australia and in Canada, there were many reports of UFO sightings and circular formations in swamps reeds and sugar cane fields. Since the 2000s, crop circle formations have increased in both the size and complexity of the patterns.
In the UK, a researcher found that Crop Circles were often formed near roads, areas of dense population and cultural heritage monuments. In other words, they were not just randomly appearing.
Where do they come from?
People have tried to explain this weird phenomenon for years, but many of them still believe that the crop circles are indeed formed by Aliens, as though the circles are some sort of message from an advanced species telling us about something. Many Crop Circles were found near ancient or sacred sites, which boosted the belief of extraterrestrial activity. They have also been found near mounds of earth and stones raised over graves.
Supernatural? Nah… Probably Not.
Some paranormal advocates think that the patterns of the crop circles are so complex that they must be controlled by some entity. One of the proposed entities for this is Gaia (Primal Greek Goddess personifying the Earth), as a way of asking us to stop global warming and human pollution. There is also speculation that the crop circles have a relation to Ley Lines (apparent alignments of places of man-made or even supernatural significance in the geography or culture of an area).
Did Humans Make Them?
The scientific consensus on crop circles is that they are created by human beings as hoaxes, advertising or art. The most widely known method for a person or group to construct a crop formation is to tie one end of a rope to an anchor point and the other end to a board, which is used to crush the plants. People who have their doubts about the paranormal origins of crop circles point out various characteristics of crop circles that lead us to believe that they are indeed the work of pranksters.
Some people have even confessed to making crop circles. When someone criticized crop “circles”, straight lines and squares were added to show that they could not come from natural causes. Physicists have suggested that the most complex crop circles are created with the help of GPS and lasers. In 2009, a massive circle formation was made over the course of three consecutive nights and was then apparently left unfinished.
Did Nature Make Them?
It has also been suggested that the crop circles may be the result of extraordinary meteorological phenomena, like freak tornadoes or ball lightning, but there is no evidence of crop circles being created in such a manner. Seems weird that this is actually a theory, but then again, some people still believe that the Earth is flat!
The main criticism that the ‘formation of crop circles by aliens’ believers face is the lack of evidence of these circles’ origins. While some are definitely known to be the work of pranksters, there have also been cases in which researchers declared crop circles to be ‘The Real Thing’, only to then be confronted by the people who created them.
Most crop circle researchers admit that the vast majority of crop circles are created as hoaxes and pranks. However, they also claim that there’s a tiny remaining 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.
Perhaps one day we’ll discover that aliens wanted us to RSVP to their wedding after all. If that’s true, let’s just hope they don’t get upset after realizing what we prefer to waste our time on instead…