Scientists reveal origin of mysterious sea circles (spoiler: not human)

Illustration for article titled Scientists reveal origin of mysterious sea circles (spoiler: not human)

Scientists have finally unraveled the mystery of the strange crop circles that appeared off the coast of the Island of Møn, Denmark, in 2010. Unlike the crop circles on land, however, these are not made by humans.


They are not made by alien spaceships either. Or rest of craters from bombs dropped during World War II, like some theorized. According to Dr Marianne Holmer and Dr Jens Borum, the secret is on the mud that accumulates in the eelgrass, which is very rich in sulfide.

This mud, they say, can destroy young eelgrass plants, but it can't kill the adult specimens. Since these underwater grass colonies grow in circles, the youngest plants get obliterated on the outer layer of the circumference when there's an influx of toxic mud, ending in those mysterious rings.

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Maybe one of you marine biologists/plant folk can explain.

Seems like having a mechanical nature to trap a toxic substance that kills the young (and weak) would be counter-productive to continuation. The only idea I have why this would work is that maybe it clears out the center and edges (at a cost), with a probability that the toxic stuff will now wash away because it's no longer trapped, thus clearing the way for future growth? Lather, rinse, repeat?