June 18, 2008
Wroughton - Mathematicians are perplexed after a highly complex crop circle appeared in a Wiltshire field - depicting a fundamental mathematical symbol.
The circle is, apparently, a coded image representing a complex mathematical number — the first ten digits of pi — and even astrophysicists admit they find it “mind-boggling”.
The circular pattern was created in a barley field near Barbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort, earlier this month.
Measuring around 46m (150ft) in diameter, it has had crop circle enthusiasts and experts stumped.
The symbol was identified eventually by Mike Reed, a retired astrophysicist who contacted Lucy Pringle, a crop circle photographer and expert, with an explanation.
Maths codes and geometric patterns have long been an important factor in crop circle formations — one of the most famous formations ever created showed the image of a complex set of fractals known as The Julia Set, in a field near Stonehenge, 12 years ago.
Lucy Pringle, who researches the effects of electromagnetic fields on living systems and crop formations and has the largest database of crop circles in the world said of the phenomenon: “This is an astounding development — it is a seminal event.”