Mysterious “Crop Circle” Forest in Japan Is the Result of a 50-Year-Old Experiment

"Crop Circle" Forest in Japan

Photo: FNN

A forest in Japan is creating quite a stir with its unique shape. In the Miyazaki Prefecture of southern Japan, groups of Japanese cedar trees swell toward the sky, creating mysterious concentric circles. After a recent aerial photo spotted these “crop circles,” it left people wondering just how they were formed.

The picturesque natural formations aren't the results of an alien invasion, but rather a well thought out plan that took place nearly 50 years ago. According to Spoon & Tamago, a document by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries explains that what's now visible is due to a 1973 project regarding growth and tree spacing. At the time, the area was designated as “experimental forestry” and one experiment saw researchers planting trees in 10 degree radial increments to form 10 concentric circles.

What's now visible—even on Google Earth—are the results after 45 years. What's quite interesting is that the trees also grew in a convex shape, fanning out into the forest and showing that spacing does have unexpected results on growth. The original plan called for the trees to be harvested in 5 years, but given the new interest, officials are considering saving the circular forest.

Aerial photos spotted these “crop circles” in Japan which turned out to be a forestry experiment, started nearly 50 years ago.

"Crop Circle" Forest in Japan

Photo: Miyazaki southern forest management office via Sankei News

h/t: [Spoon & Tamago]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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