Scientists finally found authors of extraordinary rings in barren wilderness in southwestern Africa – little artists run right under legs. These mystical circles forming wonderful patterns in Namib desert, termites draw. Scientists have long been talking about the source of these marks, and most recently, researchers found out what exactly local termites are the authors of the drawings. This hypothesis was proposed. before, however, it could not be confirmed due to the lack of sufficient evidence.
A photo from open sources
Studying these unusual patterns in the Namib desert, a biologist Hamburg University Norbert Jürgen remarked that wherever circles appeared, there are termites. From 2006 to 2012 Jürgen measured soil moisture at places where circles were found. As a result, he found out that even in the driest season in a meter Soil contains 5 centimeters of water. Jürgen added that because lack of grass, water does not evaporate, but collects in porous sandy soil. This water residue is not only enough for active termite life even in the driest weather, but also for growth herbs. The researcher has long studied the organisms that live in these circles, and found that sand termite is the only kind found in almost all circles. Also in soil with circles fodder plants, underground tunnels and cemented were found sand – obvious signs of the presence and activity of sand termites.
A photo from open sources
According to Jürgen, termites are a great example. eco-friendly construction. Insects specially supplied grass roots with water – this is how these circles form. However, the researcher is He doesn’t say why termites grow herbal patterns. Representative University of South Africa at Pretoria believes Jurgen’s study useful for identifying the causes of mystical circles, however it still does not solve the main problem – why in this territory plants die out, instead of which these circles appear? Rather everything, something caused a change in the composition of the soil in this territory, because of which grass does not grow on it. But termites enrich the soil so the way that plants form unusual patterns. By the way, Jurgen suggested that termites chew plant roots, due to which they grow in a circle. It is possible that termites do not form mystical circles, but simply live inside them. However, Jurgen found insects even in the early stages of circle formation – yet before the extinction of grass. Gradually, the grass dies out, and only those survive plants whose roots chewed termites.
Translation by Sergey Vasilenkov
Water Insects Plants