the Degree Confluence Project

Namibia : Hardap

9.3 km (5.8 miles) WSW of Abbabis, Hardap, Namibia
Approx. altitude: 1059 m (3474 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 24°N 164°W

Accuracy: 10 m (32 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: South View #3: West View #4: North View #5: East View #6: GPS Reading #7: Us #8: Walking to the Confluence

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  24°S 16°E (visit #3)  

#1: General view showing "fairy circle"

(visited by Brian Roberts, Renate Roberts and Eamon Roberts)

23-Jun-2006 -- This Confluence was visited by Brian, Renate and Eamon Roberts on Friday, 23 June 2006. We were travelling by Land Rover from our home in Walvis Bay, Namibia, to spend a weekend at Sossusvlei where some of the highest dunes in the world are located. We had passed this Confluence several times in the past but had not had the time to visit it.

We parked our vehicle off the road and walked to the Confluence, which was approximately 1.5 km from the road. The Confluence is situated on a large open plain between several small rocky hills. Due the recent good rainfalls in Namibia the plain was covered with tall yellow grass which was waving in the strong easterly breeze, which was blowing at the time. We reached the Confluence at approximately midday.

Of particular interest were the "fairy circles", one of which is shown in the first picture. These "fairy circles" remain an unexplained mystery of Science. They are discs of completely bare sandy soil anything from 2 to 10 metres in diameter. Found almost exclusively along the western coastal fringes of the Namib Desert in southern Africa, they are easy to spot because they are barren in the middle yet have unusually lush perimeters of tall grasses, which stand out from the otherwise sparse vegetation of the desert.

Despite 25 years of research, the cause of these "fairy circles" is unknown. The three main explanations: termites, radioactivity and toxic debris from other plants, have all been disproved. There are also numerous traditional explanations for the phenomenon - electromagnetic waves, land mines, radiation, UFOs, meteorites, the poisoning of trees in the area and even other-worldly creatures - the fairies themselves. The Himba, a native African people who inhabit the Northern areas of Namibia, maintain that the fairy circles "were made by God and have always been there".

 All pictures
#1: General view showing "fairy circle"
#2: South View
#3: West View
#4: North View
#5: East View
#6: GPS Reading
#7: Us
#8: Walking to the Confluence
ALL: All pictures on one page