Crop Circles: Still A Thing | Vol. 4 / No. 15.2

Photo: g3nti, CC BY-SA 2.0

I just made a startling discovery. Crop circles are still a thing. Where are my X-Files DVDs?

No, but really! You know the public-art-slash-nuisance-to-farmers that are usually made in the dead of night by mathematicians with wooden boards on strings? People still make them!

Somebody posted this Poe’s Law territory website to r/skeptic recently. It’s from back in August of last year and goes on at length about a crop circle that was made in a field in southern England near Shaftesbury. It’s a pretty cool crop circle, too. And the woo around crop circles has always been crazy, with “cerealogists” (people who study crop circles) claiming everything from extra-terrestrial origins to (equally implausible) theories about natural “vortices.” But that’s not what caught my attention.

What caught my attention is that — call the 1990s because people are still making these things! Dozens every year! This website (ignore the woo, they’re — I kid you not — professional crop circle photographers) called Temporary Temples has great shots of these works of art. I especially liked the Nursteed Farm one, kudos to the artists whoever they may be.

You’d think people would’ve stopped once Doug and Dave came out in 1991 saying “no, sorry folks, we’re responsible for over 200 of these things.” But no — if anything it seems to have spurred on imitators. I’m starting to look forward to July and August, not just because my apartment is 61°f (that’s 16°C for everybody in sensible parts of the world), but because there’ll be more of these things to see!

Oh but also: don’t go damaging farmers’ crops without permission. That’s kind of rude and could get you fined.

Have a great day, everyone.


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Richard Ford Burley is a human, writer, and doctoral candidate at Boston College, as well as Deputy Managing Editor at Ledger, the first academic journal devoted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In his spare time he writes about science, skepticism, feminism, and futurism here at This Week In Tomorrow.