26th June 2013
And another bit of magic exits the world….
Plant biologists know these circles are stable having watched them over periods of decades. So these structures are clearly no accident. Indeed, exactly why fairy circles appear is something of a mystery. In particular, nobody has been able to explain why the patches are circular and not some other shape.
That changes today thanks to the work of Cristian Fernandez-Oto at the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and a few pals who have used computer simulations to show that fairy circles are emergent patterns that occur naturally when plants compete for water in arid conditions.