I was playing with Google Earth and was looking for Fallon Range Training Complex after I read this question. So I typed "Fallon" and I dragged the cursor all along and spotted some really curious things.

Well, it was a number of circles that dangerously resembled radars. One of them had a click next to it and it said "Battle Mountain, NV, USA". I Googled that and learned that it was a gold-mining center in Nevada that is no longer a municipality. But that doesn't answer what these huge circles are.

enter image description here

Any guesses what this is?

  • 7
    "dangerously resembled radars" - old-school radar displays perhaps, but not the radars themselves... Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


It is a specific form of irrigation know as Center Pivot Irrigation

Fairly simply explained on Wikipedia

Center-pivot irrigation (sometimes called central pivot irrigation), also called waterwheel and circle irrigation, is a method of crop irrigation in which equipment rotates around a pivot and crops are watered with sprinklers. A circular area centered on the pivot is irrigated, often creating a circular pattern in crops when viewed from above (sometimes referred to as crop circles). Most center pivots were initially water-powered, and today most are propelled by electric motors.

No crazy alien landings here!

  • 5
    Simpsons fans know.
    – choster
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 20:10
  • 3
    They also seem to be used quite a bit in less arid climates... I have seen a lot of them on flights over the grain belt states.
    – user23030
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 20:29
  • @Michael Indeed. I've seen many of these when flying over many different parts of the U.S. They're quite common.
    – reirab
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:27
  • @Michael - Yeah I fly a lot for work, it sparked my interest a long time ago seeing all these funny circles everywhere.
    – Seanland
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:48
  • These are really common in the agricultural regions of southern Delaware. Many can be seen from the roads. Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 16:32

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