Charming Pictures Of Tree ‘Crop Circles’ In Japan

Two peculiar ‘crop circles’ were recently spotted in Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture. Viewable from above only, they were formed by sugi (Japanese cedar) trees.

Conspiracy theorists are going to be disappointed to learn that there’s a practical explanation for how these shapes emerged: science. It was particularly the result of a scientific experiment which spanned close to fifty years.

According to documentation (PDF) obtained from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, an area of land near Nichinan City was designated as “experimental forestry” in 1973, and one of the experiments was to measure the effect of tree spacing on growth. The experiment was carried out by planting trees in 10-degree radial increments forming ten concentric circles of ranging diameters.

Part of what makes these crop circles so charming is their concave shape, which was an unexpected result of the experiment which would suggest tree density does indeed affect growth. The trees are due to be harvested in about five years, but officials now consider preserving the crop circles.

Below is an image from Google Earth, which, unfortunately, is a bit dark. For those who are interested, here are the exact coordinates. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

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