Crop Circles – From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

Last week, I had a little fun researching crop circles (better called “crop formations” because they are not all circular).  I find their shapes mysterious and hypnotic.

The first thing you need to know is that there are actually companies that you can

Man Made Crop Circle (FireFox Logo)

commission to create a crop circle for you.   The Firefox man-made crop circle was 220 feet in diameter and took under 2 weeks to plan, it was completed in 2 days by 12 students at Oregon State University.  They had considered hiring a professional company in the UK to do it, but the cost was prohibitive.

Now, consider the one shown to the right, along with hundreds of others.

Flikr photo by Le Petit Poulallier

They typically appear overnight!   Even if you were to reproduce this on a computer or drafting paper without scanning it or tracing it, how long would it take you? It costs about $45 to get my yard mowed.  If I asked them to do this, what do you think they would charge? And what engineers and computers would be required?

I have no idea why they occur or what they mean, but if they are all hoaxes, then some people have way too much time on their hands.

Here are YouTube videos showing two of the opposing sides. The first, show some skeptics demonstrating how to make a crop circle by hand:

The next video shows one of the largest crop circles ever made. According to witnesses, it was made on July 7, 2007 (yes, 07/07/07) at “East Field” Wiltshire, in less than 2 hours (when bright lights appeared in the sky). It is 1033 feet long, 500 feet wide. One researcher estimates 97,000 square feet (about 2.25 acres) were flattened (just in the 60 largest of the 90 circles involved). The last camera sweep showing an empty field (with no crop circle) was 1:35am, there was a flash of light at 3:13, and the crop circle was there at 3:20.

Follow the above to YouTube if you want to see the testimony of the “techie” camera guy, and learn about the cameras he used (note: Brit’s call grain “corn”).

Inquiring minds want to know!

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