Geology: Weird Arctic Rock Circles: At Last, an Explanation

Anyone who has traveled much through the Arctic has seen them: astonishingly perfect circles, straight-sided polygons, even stripes that crisscross the hillsides, all made out of stones, as though some infant giant had been pushing pebbles into pleasing arrangements. And while nobody has invoked aliens--the popular explanation for crop circles in temperate zones--people have wondered for centuries what strange force could have assembled these supernatural-looking formations.

The answer, as two California geologists finally explained in a paper that appeared in Science last week: it's nothing more complicated than freezing and thawing--the same process that causes roads to buckle in developed...

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