Crop circles have stumped and divided the scientific community for decades. What do they mean? Where do they come from? Are aliens trying to tell us something? Although many, perhaps most, crop circles can be explained as man-made art (or hoaxes), many still defy logic, and so have fallen onto the plates of ufologists.
The most hotly debated crop circles all have weirdly similar characteristics: they appear overnight, leaving behind radiation, bent (but not broken) plants, and coded messages. Although reports of crop circles go back thousands of years, they didn't become a household name until the 1970s. In 1978 a pair of pranksters took credit for some of the first headline-making crop circles, threatening to tear down all the mystique of the emerging tourist attraction. But soon after, crop circles popped up all over the world, many eluding scientific explanation.
If one pays close attention, he or she may notice an eerie correlation between the history of UFOs and the history of a crop circles. UFOs and crop circles both appear to be a real and persistent unexplained phenomenon, plagued by hoaxes, disinformation, and mocking from the scientific community. Despite the scrutiny, 200+ crop circles appear, and thousands if not millions of people travel to see them, every year.
Here are five of the most famous crop circles to ever have been created...Did man or aliens make these?
5. West Woodhay, West Berkshire, England
A mysterious serpent design appeared in crop circle form on or around July 29th, 2011 in an English town less than an hour away from Stonehenge. It addition to being one of England's most famous crop circles, it is also one of the largest.
4. Silbury Hill, Wiltshire, Southern England
On July 5th, 2009, a crop circle with Mayan symbolism formed in a Southern England town. Many speculated it was a warning of the end of the world. After all, this was just a few years before 2012! The crop circle was dubbed the "Quetzalcoatl headdress" for its (apparent) Mayan inspiration:
3. Goes, Holland, Netherlands
The small Dutch town of Goes is home to the biggest crop circle ever. The famous "butterfly" crop circle came to being in August 2009, and is quite beautiful. It also measures in at a whopping 2,000-feet long and wide. Despite its staggering size and perfection, the crop circle is apparently a man-made copycat, made by 60 students to be exact, according to a video made about its construction.... or is it?
2. Sparsholt, Hampshire, England
In August 2002 in Sparsholt, a village in Southern England, a crop circle featuring a classic gray alien face and a strange disc formed. It turns out the disc was designed in binary code, which translated into a very creepy foreboding message: "Beware of the bearers of FALSE gifts and their BROKEN PROMISES. Much PAIN but still Time. There is GOOD out there. We Oppose DECEPTION conduit CLOSING (BELL SOUND)"
1. Alton Barnes, Wiltshire, Southern England
On July 12th, 1990, this famous crop circle appeared overnight in England, as so many classic crop circles tend to do. The 430-foot-long pictograph was one of the first of its kind, paving the way for more and more intricate geometric and symbolic designs like it. The crop circle is located in Alton Barnes, a parish in the Southern England country of Wiltshire, and is a certified tourist attraction. The same year the crop circle was formed, Led Zepplin released a box-set compilation album and used a photograph of it for the album cover, forever securing its place in time as one of the most famous crop circles ever.