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No. 71: Sep-Oct 1990

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Florida's circular canals

Circular canals up to 1,450 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep have been discovered in south central Florida. Dug in the savannas and flood plains around Lake Okeechobee, the man-made circles include gaps where drainage canals extend outwards. Forty of these circular earthworks have been located by R.S. Carr. Some are as old as 450 BC; others as recent as the 16th. century. Mounds and large plazas are also part of this impressive example of Precolumbian engineering.

Carr supposes that the circular canals were fish traps, but no fish bones or other supporting evidence for this theory have appeared. Another thought is that the earthworks drained agricultural land, but no maize pollen has been found. Could they have been ceremonial sites. No one really knows. (Bower, B.; "Florida 'Circles' May Be Ancient Fisheries," Science News, 138: 6, 1990.)

Reference. Other ancient Florida canals are described in our handbook Ancient Man. Ordering details here.

From Science Frontiers #71, SEP-OCT 1990. 1990-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987