The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Tree ‘Crop Circles’ Emerge in Japan, Results From 1973 Forestry Experiment
Photos of two "crop circles" of trees in Japan's Miyazaki prefecture have emerged online and on social media, causing netizens to marvel at the eerie forest formation.
Turns out, these cedar circles—which you can see on Google Earth—are the result of a forestry experiment conducted about 45 years ago.
The Japanese design and culture blog Spoon & Tamago explains:
According to documentation (PDF) we obtained from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in 1973 an area of land near Nichinan City was designated as "experimental forestry" and one of the experiments was to try and measure the effect of tree spacing on growth. The experiment was carried out by planting trees in 10 degree radial increments forming 10 concentric circles of varying diameters.
Look closely at the photos and you'll notice that the height and size of the trees expands taller and bigger from the inner circle.
The height difference between the tallest tree and the shortest tree is about 5.3 meters, the document from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries shows.
"Makes sense right? More space equals less competition for resources such as water and sunlight, so it's easier for these outer trees to grow bigger and stronger while those on the inside fight it out amongst themselves," writes Bored Panda.
This 3D Google Earth map shows that this experiment was even conducted on a slope.
Officials were planning to harvest the trees in about five years, but they are now thinking about preserving the circles given the new interest in them, according to Spoon & Tamago.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.
By Jeff Turrentine
From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.
Cell Phone Tracking Analysis Shows Where Florida Springbreakers and New Yorkers Fleeing Coronavirus Went to Next
By Eoin Higgins
A viral video showing cell phone data collected by location accuracy company X-Mode from spring break partiers potentially spreading the coronavirus around the U.S. has brought up questions of digital privacy even as it shows convincingly the importance of staying home to defeat the disease.