Crop circles were described as early as the 17th century. One of the first known records speculates they were caused by ‘airflows from the sky.’ In the 1970s and 80s, crop circles suddenly started appearing en masse throughout the English countryside. This caught the media’s attention and caused many speculations regarding their origin.
At one point, the most plausible theory involved whirlwinds and other extraordinary meteorological phenomena. With patterns eventually becoming far too complex to be created naturally, many enthusiasts proposed paranormal causes, including UFO landings or messages from extraterrestrial beings.
In the early 90s, two men, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, confessed they were responsible for the majority of crop circles that had been discovered in the UK. Their confession muted the meteorological theory and confirmed earlier suspicions that it was a hoax. The idea of aliens being responsible for crop circles, however, had fired people’s imagination and with the media reliably causing a stir when new formations are sighted, many people have been inspired to bring crop circles to their hometown. Subsequently, thousands of crop circles have been reported from around the world over the past 20+ years.
Here is a small selection of crop circles documented by and still visible on Google Maps.
The jelly fish is one of the more unique patterns. It was documented in a field near Ashbury, Oxfordshire, UK in 2010.
This crop circle was created by the Oregon State University Linux Users group in 2006. It marked the browser’s 50 millionth download. Note the letters FX below the icon. They are formed by a plane, a few cars, and a bunch of people is standing next to them.
Interestingly, Google has updated the image material of the area in 2012, but kept the 2006 image of the crop circle, as can be seen when zooming out of the image.
The star circle with the two ball shaped satellites was sighted near Aalst in Belgium.
During summer, many towns across Germany carve labyrinths and mazes into corn and other crop fields. The first such maze was created by the Lebanon Valley Collage in Pennsylvania in 1993. The example below is from Utting, Germany. Their 10 year field labyrinth jubilee coincided with Asterix’ and Obelix’ 50 year anniversary in 2009.
This Bio-hazard sign was spotted near Pannocchia in the Province of Parma in Italy.
These rectangulars have been etched into the brown soil of rural South Africa, south of the Skilpad and Namaqua National Parks.
The eight-shaped circles found near Chilbolton, Hampshire, UK look more like patterns in the soil than crop circles.
The star can be spotted near Avebury, Wiltshire, UK.
Wiltshire is a hotspot for crop circles. This triangle was found just south of the star above.
Also one of the most beautiful crop circles was found in Wiltshire, near Marlborough.
As Google updates its satellite images, many of these crop circles will disappear forever. If you are keen to discover the latest ones from around the UK, visit this website dedicated to documenting crop circles.
When did you first hear about crop circles and have you ever seen one in real life?
Image credits: UFO Crop Circle via Shutterstock