Mysterious Fairy Circles Discovered Also In Australia

Posted: Mar 15 2016, 9:13pm CDT | by , Updated: Mar 16 2016, 9:38pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Mysterious Fairy Circles Discovered Also in Australia
A fairy circle in Australian outback. Credit: Stephan Getzin

The mysterious circular bald patches found in Western Australia are identical to what had been discovered in Africa earlier.

Mysterious bald patches of land – orange colored, almost round and devoid of grass – have been discovered in the remote region of Western Australia. These barren circles are great in number and are evenly spaced over a widespread landscape, making researchers puzzled about their existence. 

Prior to the latest discovery, these circles have only been spotted in Namibia, Africa. These patches are one of nature’s greatest mysteries and subject to a debate for centuries. Some researchers suggest that these mysterious patterns are formed due to termite and ant activity and they could be mounds or foraging holes while some other believe that they may be formed on their own because of the way grasses absorb water from the soil.

To come up with the most accurate explanation, researchers studied the circles in Australian outback both on the ground and from the air. The aerial view of the circles is absolutely breathtaking and can only be ascribed to something out of this world. When viewed from above, the circles stand out against green and brown grass because the ground is astonishingly red itself.

Researchers found that despite the drastic differences in soil makeup, the circles appeared nearly identical to those in Africa. Their examination suggests that these circles are formed due to cutthroat competition for water where dominant plants pull more water from the soil than less dominant plants. Lack of water led to the death of weaker plants and leave barren earth behind.

“The remarkable match between the patterns of Australian and Namibian fairy circles and model result indicate that both patterns emerge from a nonuniform stationary ability…different systems that go through the same instability type will show similar vegetation patterns even if the feedback mechanisms and resulting soil water distributions are different as we indeed found by comparing the Australian and the Namibian fairy circles ecosystems.” Study concludes. 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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