A flock of sheep in China was filmed walking continuously in a circle for 12 days, which baffled the world. The mysterious occurrence might now have an explanation.

Source: Turning point/YouTube

The phenomenon was captured on video and posted on Twitter by a Chinese outlet, People’s Daily. The video shows the sheep on a farm in Inner Mongolia walking in a perfect circle. Most of the animals are engaging in the circle walk.

Matt Bell, professor and director at the Department of Agriculture at Hartpury University in Gloucester, England, told Newsweek about his possible explanation for the mystery. 

“It looks like the sheep are in the pen for long periods, and this might lead to stereotypic behavior, with the repeated circling due to frustration about being in the pen and limited [as to where they can go]. This is not good. Then the other sheep join as they are flock animals and bond or join their friends,” Bell told Newsweek.

The animals moved like this for 12 days, but it is not known if they stopped at intervals to eat, drink, or sleep. The owner of the farm told the news outlet that only a few sheep were engaging at first, but gradually the whole flock started to follow suit.

Many have suggested that it could be due to listeriosis, a bacterial disease that is also commonly referred to as ‘circling disease.’ The disease can cause a lack of appetite, depression, and loss of coordination in sheep. However, the disease is usually fatal and causes death within two days, which doesn’t explain why the sheep continued to do this for so long.

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