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(News.com.au)   Mysterious 'fairy circles' confound science   (news.com.au) divider line 43
    More: Strange, termites, African, grasslands  
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4559 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 May 2014 at 5:14 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



43 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-05-21 03:56:27 PM  
Aren't they just an example of patches of slow-growing grass using up the nutrients in the soil below them, so they gradually spread out in a circle? I'm pretty sure that happens in other places too.
 
2014-05-21 04:33:00 PM  
We get mushroom fairy circles where I live...this is something else entirely.
 
2014-05-21 04:42:43 PM  
FTFA: Fairies? Or sentient plants?

i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-21 04:59:10 PM  
I, for one, am afraid to click on the link...
 
2014-05-21 05:07:48 PM  
i have a friend that is always on about these circles. bloody celts.
 
2014-05-21 05:32:56 PM  
Don't lawn fairly circles grow above old tree stumps. The concentration of nutrients causes the circle or something like that.

It doesn't explain the African circles in the middle of the desert though. I'm going to go with the 'aliens shooting their laser guns at desert critters' explanation.
 
2014-05-21 05:34:54 PM  

Whatthefark: Don't lawn fairly circles grow above old tree stumps. The concentration of nutrients causes the circle or something like that.

It doesn't explain the African circles in the middle of the desert though. I'm going to go with the 'aliens shooting their laser guns at desert critters' explanation.


First crop circles are their version of teenagers vandalizing the planet and now their rednecks are shooting our varmints.  I'd hate to see what kind of alien WalMart they have
 
2014-05-21 05:37:54 PM  
FTFA:

For some time, those who regard themselves as being in the know have asserted the barren swirls to be the product of subterranean termite colonies.  These dastardly - but geometrically-minded - beasts supposedly nibble away at the grassroots, causing dieback.
But nobody could cite the source for this explanation.

Maybe because no one bothered spending 5 minutes on Google?
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1618
 
2014-05-21 05:40:33 PM  

Whatthefark: Don't lawn fairly circles grow above old tree stumps. The concentration of nutrients causes the circle or something like that.

It doesn't explain the African circles in the middle of the desert though. I'm going to go with the 'aliens shooting their laser guns at desert critters' explanation.


They're killing our womp rats!!
 
2014-05-21 05:45:56 PM  
Uh, I think we're supposed to just call them gays at this point.
 
2014-05-21 05:50:40 PM  

blasterz: FTFA:

For some time, those who regard themselves as being in the know have asserted the barren swirls to be the product of subterranean termite colonies.  These dastardly - but geometrically-minded - beasts supposedly nibble away at the grassroots, causing dieback.
But nobody could cite the source for this explanation.

Maybe because no one bothered spending 5 minutes on Google?
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1618


First line of TFA: "The termite explanation has been turfed."

It's almost certainly fungi. The mycelia live at the outside edge of the circle, and this would explain the grass growing well there: the mycelia break down the accessible minerals and make them available to the plant, but over time this drains the soil of some limiting nutrient and/or poisons some essential part of the local soil micro-ecosystem. Just like the other kinds of fairy circles, only without obvious mushrooms blooming, and a more obvious deleterious effect on the soil quality. These scientists aren't going to stop researching the controversy, though - they've been paying for grad students & plane tickets for 15 years, why stop now?
 
2014-05-21 05:55:20 PM  
 when it comes to mysterious circles in African grasslands, the fairies are back in with a chance.

No.

No they are not.
 
2014-05-21 06:19:16 PM  
Dead squirrel.

Dead squirrel rotting

Rotting dead squirrel becomes puddle of putrid goo

Shrooms grow from the goo in the soil

/Where's my millions if research grants?
 
2014-05-21 06:55:09 PM  

blasterz: FTFA:

For some time, those who regard themselves as being in the know have asserted the barren swirls to be the product of subterranean termite colonies.  These dastardly - but geometrically-minded - beasts supposedly nibble away at the grassroots, causing dieback.
But nobody could cite the source for this explanation.

Maybe because no one bothered spending 5 minutes on Google?
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1618


That appeared to have been subsequently discredited. TFA links to an article that contains the actual info.
 
2014-05-21 07:05:35 PM  

TV's Vinnie: Dead squirrel.

Dead squirrel rotting

Rotting dead squirrel becomes puddle of putrid goo

Shrooms grow from the goo in the soil

/Where's my millions if research grants?


It rode into the sunset toward Brokeback Mountain along with the preview function, which had finally decided it had been ignored for the last time.

/snrk
 
2014-05-21 07:10:22 PM  
bleedin' fairies!!
 
2014-05-21 07:11:12 PM  
I have been to Namibia and seen the fairy circles dude.....so I'm really getting high off all these replies.
 
2014-05-21 07:16:33 PM  

blasterz: Maybe because no one bothered spending 5 minutes on Google?
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1618


Or the more obvious tagline: Fairy Circle Mystery Solved By Computational Modeling
 
2014-05-21 07:19:36 PM  

golden goat: blasterz: Maybe because no one bothered spending 5 minutes on Google?
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1618

Or the more obvious tagline: Fairy Circle Mystery Solved By Computational Modeling


There is a decent chance the researchers haven't actually heard about this hypothesis.
 
2014-05-21 08:12:58 PM  
Almost all have a particularly lush boundary of grass at their edge.

Ideas abound as to their cause.

But real answers are scarce.


Seriously? What's with these one-sentence paragraphs? Do they have a print edition with inch-wide columns?


golden goat: blasterz: Maybe because no one bothered spending 5 minutes on Google?
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1618

Or the more obvious tagline: Fairy Circle Mystery Solved By Computational Modeling


So basically, it's a possible solution of the Game of Life?
 
2014-05-21 08:32:43 PM  
Dey eat da poo poo.
 
2014-05-21 08:37:25 PM  
It's obviously Obama.

THANKS OBAMA
 
2014-05-21 08:49:03 PM  
If they'd stop wearing boots, they'd stop ruining the grass when they dance.
 
2014-05-21 08:50:27 PM  
Someone should get a spice harvester out there. Keep an eye out for worm sign though.
 
2014-05-21 09:42:47 PM  
When I hear the phrase "Scientists baffled" I think:  they didn't return your telephone calls or emails, did they?
 
2014-05-21 10:03:34 PM  
news.bbc.co.uk
1.bp.blogspot.com
1.bp.blogspot.com

Wanted for questioning.
 
2014-05-21 11:29:16 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-05-21 11:55:48 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: [upload.wikimedia.org image 736x581]

[upload.wikimedia.org image 736x581]


That one's solved.

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4021

Infrequently, rainfall results in a shallow lake which can freeze in the cold of a death valley winter. Rocks frozen in sheets of ice + high winds = drag marks on the shallow lake bed.

There are more ridiculous explanations that are not as much fun. I think this one is really cool though.
 
2014-05-22 01:38:18 AM  
Its swamp gas from millions of years ago rising up through the soil. Now, move along people..
 
2014-05-22 02:18:30 AM  
Get either a mycologist or a myrmicologist on it. It's one of the two.
 
2014-05-22 04:09:43 AM  

Confabulat: Aren't they just an example of patches of slow-growing grass using up the nutrients in the soil below them, so they gradually spread out in a circle? I'm pretty sure that happens in other places too.


that doesn't sound very whimsical.
 
2014-05-22 04:12:18 AM  

PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: TV's Vinnie: Dead squirrel.

Dead squirrel rotting

Rotting dead squirrel becomes puddle of putrid goo

Shrooms grow from the goo in the soil

/Where's my millions if research grants?

It rode into the sunset toward Brokeback Mountain along with the preview function, which had finally decided it had been ignored for the last time.

/snrk


I only use preview to see if an uploaded hotlink will go through, which it fails to tell me a fair percentage of the time, so why bother?
 
2014-05-22 05:00:29 AM  

TV's Vinnie: Dead squirrel.

Dead squirrel rotting

Rotting dead squirrel becomes puddle of putrid goo

Shrooms grow from the goo in the soil

/Where's my millions if research grants?
img.fark.net

 
2014-05-22 07:14:19 AM  
Just walk away....

www.falselogic.net
 
2014-05-22 07:54:04 AM  

maxheck: Get either a mycologist or a myrmicologist on it. It's one of the two.


rdyb: It's almost certainly fungi. The mycelia live at the outside edge of the circle, and this would explain the grass growing well there: the mycelia break down the accessible minerals and make them available to the plant, but over time this drains the soil of some limiting nutrient and/or poisons some essential part of the local soil micro-ecosystem. Just like the other kinds of fairy circles, only without obvious mushrooms blooming, and a more obvious deleterious effect on the soil quality. These scientists aren't going to stop researching the controversy, though - they've been paying for grad students & plane tickets for 15 years, why stop now?


It may not be fungal.  Grass grows radially in a manner similar to fungus as well (sending bits out underground which the fruiting bodies sprout up from), so it could simply be part of the grass' natural life cycle.
 
2014-05-22 08:13:10 AM  
I thought fairy circles in other parts of the world were all caused by fungus, it would seem likely that these have a similar cause.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_ring
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_circle_(Africa)
 
2014-05-22 08:14:03 AM  
er that they don't have a similar cause.
 
2014-05-22 08:14:32 AM  
"Fernandez-Oto and co specifically focus on the behaviour of this front in their model. They show that when a barren region shrinks, the plants along the front get closer together and their root systems begin to interact.
Since the plants cannot get closer together than the root system allows, the contraction stops when the barren patch shrinks to a certain size. And the most efficient packing of plants around this front is clearly when it is a circle. Voila!
What's interesting about the model is that it predicts that the circles should be bigger in more arid regions where the competition between plants for water is higher. This causes them to grow bigger root systems and ensures that they must remain further apart. Hence, bigger fairy circles.
And that's exactly what plant biologists observe. In the grasslands of southern Angola, Namibia and South Africa"


It`s pretty obvious that this is what is happening and not termites. If it were termites then the plants at the edge of the `danger zone` would be smaller instead of much larger. It just takes three plants to suck out the nutrients at the middle and they could form.
 
2014-05-22 09:32:20 AM  

golden goat: blasterz: Maybe because no one bothered spending 5 minutes on Google?
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1618

Or the more obvious tagline: Fairy Circle Mystery Solved By Computational Modeling


A model isn't a solution (or accepted theory) until it predicts something that wasn't in evidence for creation of the model.

Anyone can make a model fit pre-existing facts.
 
2014-05-22 11:26:41 AM  

Confabulat: Aren't they just an example of patches of slow-growing grass using up the nutrients in the soil below them, so they gradually spread out in a circle? I'm pretty sure that happens in other places too.


Oh, well let them know.  Random dude on fark has it all solved everyone!  They have spent 15 years trying to figure that out.  They should have just asked fark.
 
2014-05-22 11:29:40 AM  

ryarger: golden goat: blasterz: Maybe because no one bothered spending 5 minutes on Google?
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1618

Or the more obvious tagline: Fairy Circle Mystery Solved By Computational Modeling

A model isn't a solution (or accepted theory) until it predicts something that wasn't in evidence for creation of the model.

Anyone can make a model fit pre-existing facts.


Add more epicycles.
 
2014-05-22 11:38:12 AM  
12 seconds
That's how long it took to answer the question in this completely Bullshait article filled with pseudo science and outright lies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_ring

It's a fungus, people have known this for literally decades.
 
2014-05-22 05:13:58 PM  

NicktheSmoker: Confabulat: Aren't they just an example of patches of slow-growing grass using up the nutrients in the soil below them, so they gradually spread out in a circle? I'm pretty sure that happens in other places too.

Oh, well let them know.  Random dude on fark has it all solved everyone!  They have spent 15 years trying to figure that out.  They should have just asked fark.


Yes, I'll let a bunch of dimwits trying to find a reason to write an article from some Aussie website while the real world already knew this all along.

But thanks for playing! Do you feel smarter than me? Cause you're not, and you proved it.
 
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