In early November, people noticed strange behavior in a herd of goats at a farm in the Inner Mongolia region, in the north of the country. The sheep circled in a perfect circle and has not stopped doing so ever since. They have been going around in circles non-stop for over two weeks and the reason is still unknown.
Chinese newspaper People’s Daily was able to speak to the pen’s owner, Mrs Miao, who could not explain the behavior of her flock. He says that in the beginning there were only a few goats and as days went by more and more sheep came. The direction of the circle does not change, it is always clockwise.
The Big Goat Mystery! In N China’s Inner Mongolia, hundreds of sheep walk in circles over 10 days. The sheep are healthy and the reason for the strange behavior is still a mystery. pic.twitter.com/8Jg7yOPmGK
— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) November 16, 2022
On the Internet, videos from the company’s security cameras and other images from passers-by show how sheep flock in large numbers to participate in this perfect circle. Many netizens believe that the sheep are sick, but Ms. Miao says that there are a total of 34 healthy sheep on her farm, and this case only happened with this lice. To further fuel conspiracy theories, the pen number in question turns out to be 13.
Principles for all tastes
The first theory is that the sheep may be infected with encephalitis, or listeriosis, a bacterial disease that causes erratic behavior in the animals. But this hypothesis was rejected because the sheep farm’s stick confirmed that his animals were in perfect health.
Another theory suggests that some animals, such as reindeer, can form a large moving herd to defend themselves against a predator. In this way, they form a very large mass to prevent danger. Near the farm, it is possible that a dog or a wolf chases the herd.
Professor Matt Bell, head of the Department of Agriculture at the University of Hartbury in the UK, believes the sheep have been locked away for too long. This causes stress and frustration which, being herd animals, can create a circle of motion in which other goats join.
Other species of the animal kingdom also have strange ritualistic behaviors, such as the emperor penguin. This type of penguins usually form a circle in which several penguins move. Thus they create a hot zone in the center of the circle where they move in and out to warm up. Inside the group, the temperature reaches over 30 degrees Celsius.