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Cape Cod crop circles

Adam Bolonsky

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An unusual sight recently after a drain tide on the flats behind Coast Guard Beach in Eastham. These were perfectly symmetrical and covered an area roughly a eighth-mile square. Perhaps John Huth or some other physics or bathrythmic expert could explain why and how:

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Do you have any more photos?

Can you describe the location a bit better, and the time the photo was taken relative to the tides?

In very flat beaches one can get strange backwash patterns, but I have to say that this is by far one of the odder ones I've seen.

Are you certain there was no human activity in that area for 24 hours before the photo was taken?

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Hi John,

I have about another dozen photos. If you know Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, the one with the former CG station on the bluff where the national park service lifeguards live in summer, that's the place. This is directly behind the beach dunes about a quarter mile north of the Nauset Inlet. I've fished back there, closer to the inlet, and seen lots of fast-moving thin water, but never seen patterns like this.

I added in a couple other photos on the message board under "more of the same, different view."

The pix were taken long after low tide, with some backwash still swirling at the inlet.

The symmmetry of the delta pattern and their sheer number was remarkable.

Typically the water back here doesn't get too deep: maybe four feet at most.....

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It's pretty bizarre.

The "wavey" pattern seems to indicate that those patches were underwater and exposed to some wind, and that at a certain point, while the tide was going out, the wind suddenly dropped. That's my best guess, that it was windy as the tide went out, and then it suddenly dropped off just as the water was maybe a centimeter deep.

I don't have any other explanation - I have seen some rectangular patterns on flats, but none with wave-lets on it.


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