Astrophysicist Solves Riddle of Britain’s Most Complex Crop Circle. It is – by any calculation – a creation stunning in its ingenuity. Carved out in a barley field, this 150 foot wide pattern is said to be a pictorial representation of the first ten digits of Pi, one of the most fundamental symbols in mathematics.

Believers in extra-terrestrials could argue it was made by mathematically-minded aliens on a field trip to Earth.

The Mystery

The crop circle in a barley field near Wroughton in Wiltshire is a coded version of pi that skeptics believe to be the work of humans with a fondness for figures and a penchant for puzzles. But whatever its origins, the experts say it is the most complex crop circle ever seen in Britain.

The pattern appeared earlier this month near Barbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort above the village of Wroughton in Wiltshire.

Initially, crop circle enthusiasts were stumped as to its meaning and even a number of experts said it was “mind-boggling.”

Then retired astrophysicist Mike Reed saw a photograph of it and made the mathematical link.


The formation is 150 meters in diameter. Reed stated, “The crop pattern “clearly shows” the first ten digits of pi, which many may remember from your schooldays – is used to calculate the area of a circle using the formula Pi r squared.”

Mr. Reed then went on to say, “When I noticed a photograph of the Barbury Castle pattern. I saw that it showed a coded image representing the first ten digits of Pi – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter.”

“The tenth digit has even been correctly rounded up with the small dot near the centre as the decimal point. The code is based on ten angular segments, with the radial jumps being the indicator of each segment.”

After working out the sequence, Mr. Reed produced the accompanying diagram. The image is an prime example of what is known as a fractal, or geometric pattern. Fractals have been a staple of crop circle designs for many years, the most well known being the Mandelbrot Set or the Julia Set, which appeared 12 years ago in Avebury Trusloe,

Wiltshire. Lucy Pringle, a renowned researcher of crop formations, has the largest database in the world on the phenomenon. She said yesterday: “This is an astounding development – it is a seminal event.” Although numerous – individuals have come forward over the years admitting they had been making crop circles, many people still believe the rings are linked with the paranormal or civilizations in far – flung galaxies.

As yet, no one has claimed responsibility for the Barbury Castle circle…