The dry lands of Namibia have been the scene of one of the world mysteries. The ground presents itself with round patches of land barren of plants, and they appear in high numbers in the same area. Their diameter is usually of dozens of feet, and they cover almost 1,500 miles in the Namib Dessert. Locals observed that the phenomenon evolved for 30 to 60 years and afterward it vanishes without trace. Scientists were not able to decipher the peculiar ground pattern until recently.
The oddest thing about this natural pattern is that the patches of dirt can host no living plant. The herbs are growing freely in the area, but they are avoiding these circular formations at all cost. Moreover, it was only three years ago when people started to notice the same event in other parts of the world. Some of these new locations include even Australia.
This is one of world mysteries, and its lack of a valid explanation led to answers that pertain to the imagination realms. The locals are calling them the fairy circles while others consider them to be marks of an alien presence. However, a team of ecologists at the Princeton University have a whole new, different theory related to the fairy circles. To solve the mystery, they proceeded to get help from technology. By using computer simulations, the scientists discovered another explanation for this event that seems plausible.
The pattern of wide arid patches of land is the result of a complex combination of activities performed by both animals and plants. The study was published in the Nature Wednesday journal. The lead author of the paper, Corina Tarnita, sees the fairy circles as a geometric construct that external agents competed for at a large scale.
The new answer to one of the world mysteries incorporates the two previous scientific explanations. One of them relied on the patterns that the termites can produce while the other focused on plants and their influence on the ground that can trigger such unusual shapes. The new theory includes both of them. Thus, the Namibia fairy circles are the result of both animal and plant activity.
The peculiar large circles result from two colonies of termites competing for their own source of water. Plants have their own role in this scenario as they avoid competing for the same resources. Instead, they make use of only the water sources from around the circular forms.
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