Active Review: 10 Minute Solution: Target Toning

by nicholmom3 on January 3, 2009

The Turf War Behind the Monster Jellyfish Crop Circle

by Vera H-C Chan

Jellyfish crop circle


Have aliens left another calling card?

Conspiracists — and Brits — are all atwitter about a crop circle that appeared at an Oxfordshire barley field. Instead of circles, the creators have become far more artistic (or they’ve figured out how to use Earth landmowers). The “circle” is in the shape of a 600-foot jellyfish — a first, as far as we know — and the BBC has posted an aerial video of the creature.

The overnight sensation launched Web searches for “jellyfish crop circle,” “crop circles aliens,” “crop circles conspiracies,” and — for the DIY crowd — “crop circle patterns.” Previous lawn artworks have appeared in the form of birds, butterflies, and, last year, the first 10 digits of pi (you know, 3.141592654).

OK, say this grassy rendering isn’t an alien self-portrait. Even so, the massive carve-out is impressive. Karen Alexander, a croppy (the name for experts in this, er, field), says this one’s “absolutely huge — roughly three times bigger than…most crop patterns, and extremely interesting. People have been aghast at the size of it. It is a complete monster.”

What human motivations could lie behind this? The English countryside could be facing a turf war, as Oxfordshire looks to poach tourists from Wiltshire. That town’s currently the crop-circle capital, thanks to a lovely 350-foot yin-yang symbol near an ancient burial mound. Or who knows? Maybe the recent outbreak is an homage to a late crop-circle researcher, who recently passed away at age 90.

Either way, lucky landowners Bill and Sally Ann Spence aren’t thrilled about being the owner of a giant jellyfish imprint. Not that the artwork isn’t “beautiful,” but they’re asking visitors to stop tramping over their poor crops for a look-see, and instead get a helicopter and hover. The Spences won’t be asking the local cops to track down the renegade crop artists. As if earthling law enforcement has jurisdiction over alien jellyfish.

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