Yeah, About That Crop Circle…

A couple weeks ago a new crop circle — okay, more like a square — suddenly appeared in a field in Salinas, California. The citizens of Bullshitville (which I’m pretty sure is in New Mexico) immediately got all excited. Aliens! Evidence of Aliens! The Worldnetdaily fell for it hook, line and sinker, even presenting an “exclusive” video from someone’s cell phone of “mysterious” lights coming from the field where it was discovered.

Crop circles remain one of the mysteries of the ages.

No they don’t.

What causes them?

What do they mean?

Are they all part of an elaborate conspiracy and hoax?

No, they’re made by human beings who know that people like you will always fall for them and start spouting nonsense about the “mysteries of the ages.” And in this case, it was computer chipmaker NVIDIA that did it.

We can’t say who did it. Or exactly how. But we can tell you this: It didn’t involve aliens.

We can also tell you why we hired some of the world’s best crop circle artists to put an image of our latest mobile processor in a barley field near Salinas, California, two hours south of San Francisco.

We simply couldn’t think of any other way to explain that our new Tegra K1 processor, with 192 graphics cores, can do things no other technology — on this planet, at least — could.

Hey, maybe this is yet another great example of why you shouldn’t jump to the most ridiculous conclusion before you rule out all the far more likely ones. Skepticism, how the fuck does that work?

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  • jamessweet

    I just like how, to computer engineers like myself, 192 is a nice round number.

    Not a perfectly round number, like 256. It’s more analogous to how the normals would view the decimal number 150. Halfway between two big round numbers. Three-quarters of the way to a biggie.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    So you’re saying that nVidia is run by aliens?

  • eric

    So you’re saying that nVidia is run by aliens?

    Of course not! The aliens were just subcontracted to do the labor. There’s no minimum wage, minimum age, or benefits regulation in space.

  • alanb

    So you’re saying that nVidia is run by aliens?

    That’s what I read on the Internet.

  • Raging Bee

    So…did aliens make this crop pattern?

  • robb

    Reginald read my mind and beat me to it!

    Reginald, are *you* and alien too?

  • Marcus Ranum

    Someone needs to ask that former Canadian defense minister about crop circles and the “crop circle gap”

  • ArtK

    The comments on the nVIDIA site are hilarious. People getting all butt-hurt that this was a hoax.

  • Avo, also nigelTheBold


    There’s no minimum wage, minimum age, or benefits regulation in space.

    In space, no-one can hear you strike.

  • Synfandel

    Weird, or what?

  • A Waterchapel

    Raging Bee @5:

    It’s one of the mysteries of the ages.

    Why couldn’t Sanrio be the earthly manifestation of our extraterrestrial friends?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    This must be embarrassing; someone mistook that chip for an Intel Pentium III.

  • jnorris

    … they’re made by human beings …

    Ed, that’s what the NVIDIA chip in my head tells me to believe.

  • caseloweraz

    Reginald Selkirk: This must be embarrassing; someone mistook that chip for an Intel Pentium III.

    I don’t know which would be more embarrassing: mistaking it for a PIII, or mistaking it for an AMD graphics chip design.

    The artists apparently have also done crop-circle work for AMD, Microsoft and Samsung.

  • caseloweraz

    It also looks like KSBW had some fun with the story. Was it the California penal code? Was it a plug for bicyclers? Was it a braille message?

    The design is now plowed under — another mystery lost to the ages.

  • JJ831

    OT: Kind of odd they chose Salinas. It’s a bit of a nasty city these days. There are plenty of places closer to the Silicon Valley that they could have probably done the same thing.

  • MPG

    This reminds me of a similar incident from a few years ago, where the producers of QI, a BBC panel show (and one of my favourite TV programmes) commissioned a crop circle resembling the show’s logo for an episode discussing hoaxes, and a Norwegian TV station (admittedly one that has a reputation for peddling woo) fell for it, bringing a purported psychic to it who proceeded to go on about the “energy” and “vibrations” she felt from it.

  • democommie

    This makes me FURIOUS!

    They could have done a crop circle in corn, or wheat or FUCKING SOYBEANS!!

    But, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! They to wreck a field of BARLEY. Do those assholes know that there are a lot of places (like my refrigerator) that are suffering a “Beer famine”. Thanks, InnaGaddaNvidia–THANKS a whole fuck of a lot!!!!!

  • Thumper: Token Breeder


    If you follow caseloweraz’s link, the Circlemakers did a thing for a BBC documentary, and then filmed the harvest afterwards… long story short, flattening the crop does not result in any of the harvest being lost.

  • A. Noyd

    Actually, the barley was planted as a soil replenishment crop and was plowed under as planned.