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Mystery of the Fairy Circles

When it rains substantially in the Namibian desert, a thick carpet of grass covers the sand. But this green down is punctuated by bare red soil circular patches, which appear as though drawn by a compass. And there’s not just one or two of them but thousands. These mysterious sand circles appear at around 60 to 120 kilometres inland from the coast from South Africa to Angola, at an altitude of between 500 and 1000 metres. To humans, they make no sense at all. To animals, they’re a source of succulent grass in an arid no man’s land between savannah and sand dunes. This is the familiar face of the Namib:

Did these shallow craters come from space? Are they the work of termites or are they caused by particular mineral compounds in the ground? They’re here in their hundreds of thousands and they’re called “Fairy Circles” -- for want of a better name.  And all we know is Namibia’s Fairy Circles are neither a fraud nor a joke, but they’re one of Africa’s most mysterious natural wonders.

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