Fairy circles

In January we had a look at ant and termite colonies as seen from space. In that post we mentioned the phenomena of Fairy Circles from Namibia. Fairy Circles are regular patches of bare ground in the grasslands of Namibia as seen below


Fairy Circles in Namibia

A similar phenomenon has now been found in Australia. Read more about it here. This is what they look like in Google Earth:


Fairy Circles in Australia

There is Street View going through the area in Australia with Fairy Circles and you can see them along the sides of the road.

There has long been controversy over the origin of the Namibian Fairy circles, but the Australian scientists are fairly sure that the circles arise from feedback mechanisms related to plant growth and water run-off. They also predict that such patterns will arise in other parts of the globe with semi-arid conditions. So, we thought we would have a look and see if we could find any more examples.

The closest we have found so far are:


Somalia.


Burkina Faso.


Senegal.

The above patterns occur over vast areas. They are not quite the same as fairy circles and we could not find any ground level photos.

We also came across this interesting pattern in Australia:

Fairy Circles are patches of bare ground in grassland. This looks like patches of grass in bare ground.

To find all the above locations in Google Earth download this KML file. We have also included the locations from the ‘Ant Cities’ post as the patterns are remarkably similar.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.






PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.



PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.