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Mysterious African Fairy Circles May Be the Work of Sand Termites


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Fairy circles, circular bare patches of land that dot the grasslands of Southwestern Africa, have been mystery to scientists for years. In an article published in the March issue of Science, German scientist Norbert Jürgens proposes that sand termites are the mysterious engineers behind the phenomenon. Much in the same way that beavers build dams to create favorable wet environments for themselves, Jürgens believes the termites create the circles to help the soil absorb water and maintain the grasslands (which the termites feed on) through extremely dry conditions. The termites create the circles by doing what they do best—eating. They feed on grass roots, killing the grass and forming the fairy circles. For more on Jürgens’ research, see this New York Times article.

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photos by Norbert Jürgens

Reptilian Secret Service Conspiracy Theory Gets a Response from the White House


A video that claims to have spotted a shapeshifting reptilian or alien member of the secret service during Barack Obama’s speech at the 2012 APAIC policy conference has gained traction on YouTube. Though the individual’s unusual appearance is likely the result of shadows and camera artifacts, National Security Council chief spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden responded to Wired’s Danger Room about the conspiracy theory. “I can’t confirm the claims made in this video, but any alleged program to guard the president with aliens or robots would likely have to be scaled back or eliminated in the sequester,” Hayden commented. “I’d refer you to the Secret Service or Area 51 for more details.” The best part of the entire situation is the White House’s lack of a flat denial. Perhaps this strange-looking agent really is a reptilian alien from outer space, or maybe it’s just Voldemort.

via Danger Room

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