Crop circles around the world still cause mystery and intrigue. Whether you believe it
How to Make a Crop Circle
Crop circles (a generic term for the phenomenon of flattened plants) form in many areas of the world, with visual effects ranging from irregular shapes to amazing geometric patterns. The source of their formation is surrounded by controversy (see How to Explain Crop Circles), but there are some crop circles out there that have definitely been made by people. If you’ve ever wanted to explore making crop circles as a skill and an art form, here’s how!
- Plank Flattening – use a roped plank (see Things You’ll Need) to flatten by holding the rope or looping it over your shoulders. Press forwards and down by keeping one foot on the plank. Advance using a shuffling gait.
- Using a roller – some circlemakers prefer using a light roller (available from garden centers) to speed up flattening.
- For best results you should probably spend more time planning the crop circle than actually making it. By carefully planning the design, working out what equipment is needed, and discarding ideas that will be difficult or impossible to achieve, you can reduce the scope for embarrassing errors.
- Use measurements scaled up from your design and a surveyors tapemeasure to subdivide your circle into parts, put posts on the points. Don’t try and guess stuff by eye as these circles usually fail.
- Hold tapes or measuring ropes tight, slack tapes mean wobbly circles. Experienced circlemakers hold tape measure so tight it hurts. No pain, no accuracy!
- Flatten during a dry period, to avoid churning up mud.
- Walk sideways using edge of your foot to flatten corn AKA “sidestomping” when tolding tapes to do circles, this makes fatter lines easier to see.
- Straight lines are created by two persons holding tape and one person “sidestomping” along the tape with it almost touching their belly.
- Try to use the cover of night. Remember that ideally you should be finished by dawn, when you can take a picture of the pristine design before swarms of “croppies” come and trample all over it.
- To leave a ‘weird’ crop circle of cosmic origins:
- Bend some stalks around by exposing them to a blue light source for a few hours. Applying small amounts of natural gum or plaster will lock their new shape. Sadly this approach may not satisfy a detailed or scientific inspection.
- Create swirled nests in the flattened areas by your clever weaving of stalks.
- Also, melt some iron filings into droplets on site and sprinkle them around the flattened area to leave ‘meteorite particles’ and magnetized stalks.
- Try varying the direction you flatten the corn, wavy lines or up a line then back a line. This creates amazing shiny lay patterns visible from the air.
- Crop circle art is like graffiti for ‘cerealogists’, often undertaken without permission. Be careful, as not surprisingly, farmers do NOT want damage to their property. Always operate within the law.
- The amount of crop flattened need not be excessive to make a strong impression of shape and form. In fact, you should not plan to flatten a larger area destructively, and it had better be beautiful or you can expect criticism and opposition.
- Remember to take away everything you brought to the site, including the soft drink bottles which are so easy to discard in the outlying field. These are a sure distractor to the otherwise mysterious formation.
- Do not attempt this in the US. Over here in the States, you could end up being shot OR arrested.
Things You’ll Need
- A light plank (4-6 feet in length) with a rope (10-12 feet) knotted through holes in each end. Alternatively, you may prefer to buy a light garden roller from a garden centre.
- A surveryors reel measuring tape as it doesnt stretch. Rope or nylon can be used but may stretch and make wobbly edges to circles.
- Marking poles – paint tips white to aid visibility at night
- Protractor for measuring angles
- Measuring tape (100 ft)
- Night-vision goggles (optional) – your eyes adjust to complete dark in 20 minutes.
- Laser-pointer to assist placing markers (optional)
- A really good imagination! (rdn)