From Wikipedia (as of June 29, 2012), we read:
Fairy circles are enigmatic barren patches, typically found in the grasslands of the western part of southern Africa.
They are most prolific in Namibia, but are also present in Angola and South Africa. These fairy circles consist of round areas barren of vegetation; as yet there is no clear picture as to how they are formed, although scientists are researching the matter. One theory suggests termites as the creator of these circles, but recent studies have stated that there is no evidence termites would cause this phenomenon. In the oral myths of the Himba people these barren patches are said to have been caused by the gods, spirits and/or natural divinities.
Studies done by South African scientists shows that these circles are under continuous development. They grow in diameter, expanding to as large as 9 m in diameter, where they mature and “die”, filled in by invasive grasses.
One of Africa’s most mysterious natural phenomena still cannot be explained despite 25 years of research, scientists have admitted.
The findings will come as a relief to the region’s bushmen who have traditionally attributed magical, spiritual powers to these desert rings.
The circles are to be found about 100 miles inland, in a band stretching 1,500 miles south from Angola. The territory is among the most remote and inhospitable on the planet, which may explain why so little scientific research has been done on the rings. These circles are not moving and after 22 years they have remained in the same spot. During these studies they have come up with a possible explanation to why these fairy circles are appearing; researchers have found out that there is a possible toxin left by poisonous plants that has caused the plant seed destruction. But the test they have been running to try and prove this theory has not been going the scientists’ way; the evidence for this theory to be proven just isn’t coming up.
For more interesting reading about Fairy Circles, I suggest you read the following (just click on the title to open a new browser window that will show you the entire article that you may then read):
- Live Science Article; Mysterious African ‘Fairy Circles’ Stump Scientists, Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer, Date: 27 June 2012, Time: 05:01 PM ET.
- Wired Science Article; Mysterious Fairy Circles Are ‘Alive’ By Rachel Nuwer, ScienceNOW, June 28, 2012, 12:00 pm, Categories: Biology.
- Z6Mag Article; Fairy Circles in Grasslands of Namibia Africa: Mystery for Scientists, Z6Mag, The World Electronic, Posted by Erik Seawright on Jun 28th, 2012.
- Journal Sentinel Article; Scientist uses satellites to examine circles in African desert, JSOnline, Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, By Amanda Alvarez of the Journal Sentinel, June 27, 2012.