Why do mysterious shells form in the Namibian desert?
Namibia is a country bordering the Atlantic coast of South West Africa. Most of the area is desert (Namib Desert) and there is very little rainfall. The cheetah here in the desert environment is very famous in the world, but there are many secrets inside this desert. Here a strange scattering of random grass is found, which is a surprising result of how it thrives in the scanty rainfall. But what fascinates the people of the world as well as the scientists are the round figures found in the desert, which look very beautiful. But scientists have long been mystified.
The special thing about these fairy circles is that this strange grass is spread everywhere in the field, but there is no grass or plants in these circles. When viewed from a distance, dot patterns can be seen forming among the grass on the large canvas, creating a beautiful sight.
This type of plain is not spread over a small area but rather an area located between 80 and 150 km from the coast of Namibia. In the grassland, these shells are visible from a distance of several kilometers. Their range can be up to 10 meters and they are usually located at a distance of 10 meters from other circles as well. Because of this the pattern of arranged spots created in the painting is visible from a distance.
There are two types of assumptions for causation.Scientists
Still studying these circles over the years. But yet they cannot come to any definite conclusion. But two types of opinions are most prevalent about the reason for this. According to one belief, these circles eat the roots of termites. While according to another belief, the grass itself contributes to the formation of these circles, which naturally forms such circles to manage water for itself.
The termite hypothesis had no power.
Initially, scientists agreed on both hypotheses, but when a similar pattern was observed in Australia in 2016 and their study found no sign of termites, scientists found that to confirm the second hypothesis, researchers from the University of Ötzingen in Germany conducted a study in 2020. was
This research by Stephen Getzin of the university’s Department of Ecosystem Modeling is due to surrounding grasses, published in Perspectives on Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. The results of this study suggest that these circles of desert plains may have been formed by surrounding grasses, an example of a Turing pattern.
The grass inside the circle ends
In this study, researchers examined the plains of ten regions of Namibia and found that whenever there was occasional rain in these low-rainfall areas, grasses began to grow inside the circles. But it soon ends and the grass on the shore remains alive. They investigated the effect of grass rooting depth, soil moisture, termite impact etc. over a long period of time.
Researchers have found that termites are not the real cause of the circles. Instead, within ten days of the rain, the grass inside the circles began to die, and after twenty days it was completely dead. While the surrounding grass was green and soft. The Soil Sensor researchers found that because of less rainfall, grass roots create spaces around desert steppe soil where water is drawn to them and grasses on the edge of the circle can survive.