Blog  |   Publications  |   Puzzles  |   About

Crop circles: real ones

USA, Somewhere: Circles in the sand

Kool Scatcat sent me this photo of actual crop circles.

Apparently, in parts of the US, crops are actually grown in circles to optimize irrigation. There is a single sprinkler in the center of each one.

UPDATE: Craig Kaplan wrote me the following note

Jim,

I wanted to pass on a couple of notes regarding crop circles…

First, I think that in the case of circular crops, it’s not that
there’s a big sprinkler in the middle, but that there’s a radial
sprinkler — a long line of sprinklers on a metal rod. The rod’s
on wheels and pivots around the centre of the circle, irrigating
a disc-shaped region. Given that the circles are about 1/4 mile
in diameter, I don’t think a big sprinkler in the middle would
do the job.

Second, I don’t know if this is on your list already, but in case
you haven’t seen it Andrew Glassner wrote a couple of columns
about crop circles in IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications. He
even designed a little programming language for describing crop
circles. Check this page for more information:

http://glassner.com/andrew/cg/cga/cga2004.htm

Boy, I sure sounded authoritative when I made that stuff up about the sprinkler in the middle, didn’t I? Don’t believe everything you read kids. The Glassner page is AWESOME, by the way. Check it out.

One Response to “Crop circles: real ones”

  1. joanna Says:

    I flew into Denver airport a year or so ago and the one thing that really grabbed my eye on the last bit of the flight was the fields and fields of crop ircles like the ones you’ve got in that photo. It really looked cool