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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

fairy rings Also known as “hag tracks.” Mushrooms found in the forest sometimes tend to grow in the form of circles, due to the fact that the old growths tend to die off from a central point, and often leave behind chemical residues that inhibit growth of other plants. Tradition has it that fairies or witches danced in these circles.
      In Shakespeare's Tempest, he referred to the fairies and their artifact:

      . . . You demi-puppets, that
      By moonshine do the green-sour ringlets make,
      Whereof the ewe not bites.

      Today, some of these rings have been labeled as sites of UFO landings, bringing a natural phenomenon up to date in the nonsense business.

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Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.

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