mikejuk writes: Yes, fairies have nothing much to do with fairy rings. A new computer model explains them away and suggests that circles may be a common property of some types of complex system. The simulation postulates that vegetation moves into a region and there is a boundary between colonized an otherwise barren ground. As the barren region shrinks plants move closer together than their roots interact in an attempt to extract limited resources water etc. As the roots keep the plants apart the result is that a circle provides the best packing around a boundary — hence fairy circles. Of course, the fact that the model produces similar structures isn't proof that this is the cause of fairy rings. It has been suggested that termites have something to do with the matter, for example. What it has done it raise the question of what it means to "find an explanation" for a biological phenomena where controlled experiments are difficult
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