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15 of the biggest scientific hoaxes

By: Bryan Nelson on July 26, 2010, 12:15 p.m.
Crop circle in Switzerland.

Photo: Jabberocky/Wikimedia Commons

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Crop circles

When mysterious circles began appearing in England's wheat fields in the late 1970s, paranormal enthusiasts, UFO researchers and investigators of anomalies appeared out of nowhere with their own explanations about the circles' origins. Were they messages from aliens? Mystical vortices? Divine healing circles?

Many self-proclaimed experts became convinced that the patterns were too perfect and too intricate to have been designed by people. That was until 1991, when pranksters Doug Bower and Dave Chorley finally came clean and revealed how they had created the circles using planks, rope, hats and wire as their only tools.