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An image featuring strange patterns on a beach in Dorset went viral on the content-sharing site Reddit recently. The design is referred to as a 'beach cusp', and scientists aren't sure how -- or why -- it forms.

SEE: Waves create mysterious 'beach cusps' in Dorset


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 09:15 GMT - An image featuring strange patterns on a beach in Dorset went viral on the content-sharing site Reddit recently. The design is referred to as 'beach cusps', and scientists aren't sure how - or why – they form.

The cusps usually appear during or after a storm. They are evenly spaced and uniform in shape.

While they aren't completely understood, scientists have a few theories about them.

Some researchers believe the cusps are the result of different types of waves interacting with one another. Others believe that waves, currents and sand interact to create a sort of feedback loop that generates the structures.

Once the cusps have formed they will maintain their size or grow larger as new waves crash ashore.


Photo courtesy: Imgur


It's not clear when the above photo was taken, but it generated thousands of views and plenty of discussion after it was shared on Reddit last week.

Beach cusps can happen anywhere in the world and on any type of beach, but they're most common on pebble beaches.

Source: Reddit


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