After 15 Years of Study, a New Theory of What Causes Fairy Circles

In Namibia, at the boundaries between grassland and desert, a strange phenomenon has puzzled people for centuries. Mysterious circles of barren land form in the middle of rich, thick grasses. Dubbed "fairy circles," their formation has been attributed to everything from termites to poison gas. Now, a group of… » 5/20/14 8:44am 5/20/14 8:44am

Are geoengineering insects behind Africa's bizarre fairy circles?

A German scientist has come up with an explanation for the strange rings of grass that pockmark vast expanses of Africa's Namib Desert: A sand termite known as Psammotermes allocerus. These circles are actually tiny oases built by the insects — and they can allow life to persist in the harsh conditions for hundreds of… » 3/29/13 7:00am 3/29/13 7:00am