\http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/05/10/wcirc10.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/05/10/ixworld.htmlTwenty-five years of research fail to find the cause of a mysterious natural phenomenon, reports Tim Butcher at Wolwedans Camp
One of Africa's most mysterious natural phenomena still cannot be explained despite 25 years of research, scientists admitted yesterday.
Rings known as "fairy circles" that pockmark vast areas of desert in Namibia and South Africa have baffled botanists from the University of Pretoria and the Polytechnic of Namibia.
They have ruled out termite activity, poisoning from toxic indigenous plants, contamination from radioactive minerals and even ostrich dust baths as possible causes.
"At this stage I suppose we could say that fairies are as good an explanation as any," Gretel van Rooyen, professor of botany at Pretoria, told The Telegraph. [continued]