Fairy tales? There’s a natural reason behind the mysterious ...

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Fairy tales? There’s a natural reason behind the mysterious desert circles

Study resolves decades of mystery surrounding the phenomenon of the Namib Desert’s fairy circles

Reporter

Research conducted by the University of Pretoria’s department of plant and soil sciences may have finally solved the mystery of the circular patches, known as fairy circles, which have for decades covered the Kalahari Desert which stretches to the Namib Desert and the northernmost part of the Northern Cape. 

The hundreds of spread-out circular patches stretch for kilometres across the desert sand and where they are, vegetation hardly ever grows.

Folklore told the tale of how the circles were left by fairies or elves dancing in a circle, and that humans who stepped in these suffered punishment by fairies. But now there’s a more plausible explanation to why and how these form...

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