Bizarre footage of a flock of sheep walking in a circle for more than 10 days has surfaced online, prompting people to wonder what on earth is going on.
China’s state-run news site, People's Daily, posted the CCTV footage online at the end of last week, calling the situation a "great sheep mystery".
"Hundreds of sheep walk in a circle for over 10 days in N China's Inner Mongolia," the publication said on Twitter.
The sheep owner Ms Miao said the circle in northern China started with a few sheep, before the whole flock decided to join in, Metro reports. Though strangely out of all of the owner's sheep, only those in 13 out of 34 pens did so.
People react on social media
The publication has deemed the sheep "healthy", despite their "weird behaviour" and many have come up with their own theories of what could possibly be going on.
"Sheep who are used to grazing on grass lands are forcefully kept in enclosures as seen in the video. They move in circles usually when kept in such captivity," one person said on Twitter. "Humans basically are cruel."
The great sheep mystery! Hundreds of sheep walk in a circle for over 10 days in N China's Inner Mongolia. The sheep are healthy and the reason for the weird behavior is still a mystery. pic.twitter.com/8Jg7yOPmGK
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) November 16, 2022
Though some considered the behaviour normal and not caused by something cruel. "People began raising sheep as early as 13,000 years ago, and no, they are not forcefully kept in pens and torn from their green pastures," one said. "Farmers let them graze different lands by migrating their flocks, giving the land time to rest."
"When you realize it’s a summoning circle for the mega sheep," another jokingly said.
According to Metro, a potential reason could be the bacterial disease listeriosis, prevalent in both people and animals, which can cause sheep to circle due to a paralysed part of their brain.
The disease is commonly found in the gut of sheep, among vegetables, soil, water, manure and feed, according to an Australian government website.
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