Crop circle

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A crop circle is a sizable pattern created by the flattening of a crop such as wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rapeseed. Crop circles are also referred to as crop formations, because they are not always circular in shape. While the exact date crop circles began to appear is unknown, the documented cases have substantially increased from the 1970s to current times. Twenty-six countries ended up reporting approximately ten-thousand crop circles, in the last third of the 20th century, and 90% of those were located in southern England.[1] Many of the formations appearing in that area are positioned near ancient monuments, such as Stonehenge. Formations usually are made overnight, but have also been made during the day. 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. More recent methods include the use of a lawn roller.

Some crop formations are paid for by companies who use them as advertising.[2] Other formations are sometimes claimed by individuals or groups without any evidence to support their assertion, usually after undesirable legal repercussions become unlikely.

Contents

History

Certain evidence, such as the Mowing-Devil, suggest the appearance of crop circles well before the 20th century. Nevertheless, there are important differences between that story and modern crop circles. The story of the mowing devil involves the cutting of the crops following a dispute over crop harvesting and an invocation of the devil, no geometric patterns were reported.

Bower and Chorley

In 1991, self-professed pranksters Doug Bower and Dave Chorley stated that they had started the phenomenon in 1978 by making actual circles on crops with the use of simple tools.[3] After their announcement, in a demonstration the two men made a crop circle in one hour.

After the reveal of the hoax, crop circle-like patterns continued to be made and became more complex. Some even came to resemble stereotypical extraterrestrials as portrayed by science fiction movies, fractals, and archaeological, religious, or mythological symbols. Among others, paranormal enthusiasts, ufologists, and anomalistic investigators have offered arousing yet hypothetical explanations that have been criticized as pseudoscientific by skeptical groups like the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.[4][5][6][7]

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