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Epic drone footage of 'Reindeer Cyclone' has left everyone wondering with fascination

The hypnotizing concentric circles formed by these reindeer are bound to make us dizzy and appreciate the beauty of nature at the same time.

Epic drone footage of 'Reindeer Cyclone' has left everyone wondering with fascination
Cover Image Source: X | @buitengebieden

Whenever we think about reindeer, we picture these majestic animals pulling Santa's sleigh. Identified by their huge antlers, these huge members of the deer family are found in the world's coldest regions. Like every other animal, even reindeer feels threatened by certain predators or calamities. However, they have developed a unique way to defend their kind by staying in a herd and moving together in concentric circles resembling a huge imposing cyclone on the ground.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Stephen Leonardi
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Stephen Leonardi

Fascinating drone footage was captured and posted on X (Previously Twitter) by @buitengebieden, showing hundreds of reindeer in an enclosure moving together in concentric circles resembling a cyclone or tornado. According to another footage and post shared by @Cool_Blue_Dot: "This behavior was recorded by Vikings, who hunted reindeer. When they faced the threat of hunters, reindeer moved together to form a cyclone around the threat. They moved so fast in circles that it made it hard for the hunters to focus on an animal long enough to take them down. Once the hunters were sufficiently disoriented and likely dizzy. the reindeer dispersed."


However, there is another specific purpose behind the reindeer cyclone, the "swirling mass of reindeer stampeding in a circle makes it impossible for hunters and potential predators to prey upon the weakest reindeer and fawns on the herd" as they are protected and placed in the middle of the circular formation. A while ago a Russian photographer named Lev Fedoseyev captured another spectacular drone footage on the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic Circle that showed the reindeer moving in a similar formation.


The YouTube page of Nature on PBS also featured the phenomenon in a 2019 video aptly titled "Reindeer Cyclone." The production depicted the way of Viking life in the wild and how they would have encountered the reindeer in 1000 CE. The striking overhead footage shows us the reindeer in the spiral formation again as a man dressed like a Viking in winter aims the animals with a bow and arrow.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Annika Thierfeld
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Annika Thierfeld

A study by Yngve Espmark from the Department of Zoology of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology concluded that the "free-ranging reindeer show no preference for turning left or right while grazing but they invariably turn leftwards and continue walking when they feel threatened, eventually forming the cyclone." People who watched these fascinating videos of the "cyclone" have many unanswered questions. Some users wondered if the reindeer were moving in circles due to the circular enclosure. Others found some fawns in the exterior of the fascinating "cyclone."



Research suggests that it might not only be the reindeer who undergo such fascinating formations. People's Daily China's X handle @PDChina shared a peculiar video of a flock of sheep moving in a near-perfect circle. The surveillance video captured in the Inner Mongolian regions of Northern China might appear spooky to many people as the sheep have been doing their weird movements regularly for the past 14 days.


The video which was first posted back in November 2022 did not give further explanations about the sheep's behavior. The video was captioned: "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." Miao, the sheep owner, told Metro in an interview that just a small number of sheep exhibited the bizarre behavior before the whole flock joined. The flock moved that way for over 2 weeks. Some people even theorized that it may have been brought on by Listeriosis, a bacterial illness known as "circling disease."

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