Half A Century In The Making: Tree ‘Crop Circles’ Emerge In Japan

Two peculiar ‘crop circles’ have recently been spotted in Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture. Viewable only from above, they were formed by sugi (Japanese cedar) trees. Conspiracy theorists will be disappointed to learn that there is a very practical explanation for how these shapes emerged: science. Specifically, it was the result of a scientific experiment that spanned close to 50 years.

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

The trees are due to be harvested soon, with the experiment drawing to a close. But such is the interest in this unexpectedly beautiful result there remains the possibility that these giant ‘crop circles’ could be preserved, and perhaps even become a tourist attraction in the future!

h/t: boredpanda, spoon&tamago

Below is an image from Google Earth, which is unfortunately a bit dark. For those who are interested, here are the exact coordinates.




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