Photos:

Best Science Photos of the Week

PREVIOUS | NEXT
1 of 10

Desert fairy circles

Credit: Image courtesy of N. Juergens

The "artists" behind bizarre, barren, grassless rings dotting the desert of Southwest Africa have been found lurking right at scientists' feet: termites.

Known as fairy circles, these patches crop up in regular patterns along a narrow strip of the Namib Desert between mid-Angola and northwestern South Africa, and can persist for decades. The cause of these desert pockmarks has been widely debated, but a species of sand termite, Psammotermes allocerus, could be behind the mysterious dirt rings, suggests a study published today (March 28) in the journal Science.

[Full Story: Mystery of Desert 'Fairy Circles' Solved, Creators Found]   Less «
More from LiveScience
Author Bio
Live Science Logo

Live Science Staff

For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.
Live Science Staff on
Contact LiveScience on Twitter