For some time, scientists have wondered what causes the mysterious barren dots on the landscape, known as fairy circles, to develop in Namibia.
Now, they have a newly discovered crop of them in Western Australia to explain as well.
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Many theories have been presented, involving both the often puzzling workings of nature and the possibility that there really are magical beasts like dragons wreaking havoc on the landscape.
See photos of fairy circles:
However, only two ideas have gotten a good deal of traction.
One involves termite activity and the other suggests grass and plants are rearranging themselves to maximize what little resources are available.
As termite activity has been largely ruled out as an agent of creation in the Australian fairy circle site, self-organization is emerging as the likely scenario.
Dr. Stephan Getzin from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research is hoping more instances of such developments will be found around the world so a more thorough study can be done but does note, "Discoveries like the Australian fairy circles are extremely rare...."
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