Crop circles remain one of the mysteries of the ages.
What causes them and what do they mean?
The latest spectacular example of a crop circle was found etched in a farmer's barley field near the community of Salinas, Calif. on Sunday, Dec. 29.
Aerial photography and video showed an approximately one-acre site with a breathtakingly detailed design.
And now the mystery has been solved.
It turns out the crop circle wasn't the work of aliens, but instead – surprise! – it was a publicity stunt by Nvidia Corp., a maker of chips for PCs and smartphones.
The crop circle contained a stylized image of a computer chip and the number "192" in Braille. On Sunday, the company announced the Tegra K1, its new chip contains 192 computing "cores," or mini-computers, for graphics applications.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said at a press conference in Las Vegas, ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show, that he had given his marketing department the mission to promote the chip on a shoe-string budget. The crop circle received wide attention.
As WND reported, two friends driving alongside the pasture noticed flashes of bright light coming from the site in the early morning hours – before it was ever revealed in daylight.
The video shows the two men first capturing the strange light flashes from their car. Then they leave their vehicle to investigate what is causing them. They follow the lights to discover that the grass in the area has been flattened. The cameraman is heard to say: “Holy! It’s all laid down. Dude, this is a crop circle.”
It was only hours later after the sun rose that television news crew descended on the field to film the huge crop circle that is only visible in its spectacular detail from the air.
"It is true. The NVIDIA marketing team is behind this phenomenon," Huang said as he stood in front of a picture of the manicured field. "What you're looking at here is 310 feet in diameter. It is what people call a crop circle."
The circle was plowed under a few days after its discovery.