Japan Crop Circle Forest
Photo credit: Sankei News / FNN
If you’ve seen pictures of bizarre “crop-circle-like” patterns in a Japanese forest, it’s not computer-generated imagery, but rather a real place you can visit. They can be seen on Google Earth and are actually the result of experiments by the Japanese government conducted more than 50 years ago. That’s right, a 1973 document from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, states that researchers started a project designed to examine tree spacing and its effect on growth, and the result was this “experimental forest” near Nichinan City. Read more for an interactive Google map you can play around with.

“One of those experiments included researchers planting cedar trees spaced in ten-degree increments to eventually form ten concentric circles. This appears to have been done twice. More than half a century later, the way the trees were planted produced a fanning pattern that can be seen from above. Officials were planning on harvesting the trees in five years but, given the public interest, they said they’re now reconsidering the plan,” reports CTV News.