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Mystery Video Showing Sheep Walking in a Circle Explained

sheep walking in a circle video China

Last week an eerie video was posted on Twitter showing a huge flock of sheep walking in a circle on a farm in a remote part of Mongolia, a behavior they had been involved in for 12 days straight. Now a scientist is saying he may have an explanation for their bizarre behavior. 

Matt Bell, a professor at the Department of Agriculture at Hartpury University in Gloucester England had this to say. 

sheep walking in a circle screenshot from the Twitter video post

sheep walking in a circle screenshot from the Twitter video post

“It looks like the sheep are in the pen for long periods of time, and this might lead to stereotypical behavior, with the repeated circling due to frustration about being in the pen are limited. Then the other sheep join as they are flock animals, and bond or join their friends.”

Sheep are known to follow a flock mentality which protects them from predators. It controls instincts in which they flee from danger as a group. 

The viral video of sheep walking in a circle had been going since November 4. It is unclear whether they stopped to eat or drink. 

Ms. Maio, who has been identified as the owner of the sheep farm, claimed that just a few sheep started circling at first. Then the entire flock joined in. 

Although there are 34 pens at the farm, only one pen, number 13, exhibited the strange behavior. 

Some speculated that the circling might have been caused by a bacterial disease called Listeriosis or ‘circling disease’. It can be transmitted through food, feces, or soil. It causes various symptoms, including loss of appetite, fever, partial paralysis, and circling behavior. 

However, infected animals typically die after 48 hours, so it would not explain how this phenomenon of sheep walking in a circle continued for 12 days. 

Moreover, the Chinese state-run outlet that posted the video assured viewers that the animals were healthy.

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