The appearance of a crop circle at Tufton, Hampshire in 2021 was noteworthy for the formation’s battered appearance. It seemed obvious that the circle had lain undiscovered for a considerable period, during which it had been hit by a number of heavy rain storms.

Apparently, though, storm damage can’t have been responsible for the circle’s weathered look. You see, according to some minds, storm damage doesn’t afflict crop circles.

It’s ludicrous to deny the existence of storm damage. Wind and rain damage cause lodging — the toppling of plants — and this is a fact recognised across the agricultural sector. For example, the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center states

Lodging is when the crop falls over. A normal vertical crop is finely balanced, so anything that upsets the balance will cause it to lodge: strong winds, heavy rain, a very wet soil during late grain filling, tall thin stems that bend, root or stem rots that weaken the plant base. Winds associated with excess water are the worst combination.

There you have it. Lodging is real and it can be caused by strong winds and heavy rain. Here are some examples:

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Photograph by Steve Alexander

This crop circle was photographed on Hackpen Hill in Wiltshire following high winds in August 2018. Visible wind damage can be seen on the circumference between approximately 7 and 9 o’clock. You’ll see a similar damage on some of the petals.

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Heavy rain hit this field of mature wheat in West Meon, Hampshire, during August 2021. You can see how the rain has caused swathes of crop to fall over.

To lay the storm damage issue to rest, think back to the legendary ‘mother of all pictograms’ that was found at Barbury Castle, near Wroughton, Wiltshire, in 1991. It appeared in pristine condition, yet those who didn’t make it to the formation early on would later find this (ignore the tracks left people crossing the field):

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Photograph by David Parker

Storm damage affects crop circles. No matter what some people would like you to think.