The appearance of a mysterious crop circle in a southern Russian village has lead some residents to conclude aliens must have paid them a visit.
The unusual marking, about 40 meters in diameter, appeared in a sunflower field on a farm in the Krasnodar region last Thursday, local news site Svet Mayakov reported.
A video uploaded Sunday to the popular Russian social network Vkontakte shows the inside of the crop formation, which consists of a series of squares and rectangles joined together in a seemingly random pattern.
It was not immediately clear what caused the marking, though one resident told Channel Nine television that villagers had seen an unidentified object rising from the field, omitting a beam of light five meters in diameter.
A video camera located on the farm did not pick up any unusual activity, and no one was seen entering the field when the marking is believed to have appeared, news site Svet Mayakov reported.
The Krasnodar region is no stranger to crop circles and accounts for 40 percent of all of those recorded in Russia. A group of amateur enthusiasts convened in the area just last month to collect evidence of the unusual phenomenon.
But there are some who doubt the supernatural aspect of the markings.
"Firstly, I saw a whole swarm of insects and lizards in the fields," alien-hunter Sergei Frolov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
"Secondly, the plants themselves are broken and scattered in different directions, and in real crop circles they bend at the same angle. Furthermore, there are traces of human footprints in several places in the field."