Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crop Circle Art


A slideshow:

Crop circles have persistently defied scientific explanation, inspiring any number of outlandish theories about ancient shamanism and extraterrestrial visitations. Now, an Oregon physicist has added his own theory to the mix: that these dazzlingly complex patterns stamped in the countryside are the work of imaginative geeks with gadgets. In an article in the August issue of Physics World, Richard Taylor, director of the Material Science Institute at the University of Oregon, argues that the designs, which have become increasingly common in fields of wheat, barley, maize, and grass since the 1970s, could be produced by artists using global positioning systems (to translate the coordinates of complex designs from computers, to vast fields) , lasers (to aid in drawing straight lines), and microwaves (to knock down the stalks).

Steve Clowney

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