Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 18, 2021

Fairy Circles in Australia May Be Due to Microbes

The New York Times  reports

A small study suggests that soil microbes could play a role in the ring-like grass formations in parts of Australia’s wilderness.

In the Australian outback, certain grasses grow in eerie rings, with ramparts of dusty green standing at the edge of wide circles of bare red dirt. Often described as “fairy circles,” these rings of spinifex grass resemble structures first spotted in the Namibian desert, both creating enormous honeycomb patterns across the landscape that really pop out in aerial photos. In Namibia, scientists have deployed cameras on fishing rods, observed termite colonies and even used mathematical models to try to explain how this phenomenon arises.

Read more at Fairy Circles in Australia May Be Due to Microbes, Study Says – The New York Times


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