Hundreds of Sheep Have Been Walking in a Circle Continuously for 12 Days

A herd of sheep in China has been walking in a circle for almost two weeks now, and no one seems to really know why.

The bizarre behavior was captured on surveillance video at a sheep farm in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region. In a video released on Wednesday by Chinese state-run news outlet People’s Daily, dozens of shep can be seen walking clockwise in a large circle, as other animals stare from outside the circle or at times stand motionless in the middle of it. Although it has been reported that the sheep appear to be perfectly healthy, it’s unclear if the animals ever stop to eat and drink, and if others take their place in the circle when that happens.

The owner of the sheep farm, identified as Ms. Miao, told reporters that the bizarre spectacle began on November 4, with just a handful of sheep, but that in the following days dozens of others joined in. Interestingly, although the farm consists of 34 sheep pens, only those in number 13 have been acting strangely.

The video of the sheep walking in circles went viral in China soon after being shared online by People’s Daily, and several theories about the bizarre movement have been thrown around since. The most popular theory is that the sheep are infected with a bacteria that causes a condition known as listeriosis, or ‘circles disease’.


According to the Merck Manual, “initially, affected animals are anorectic, depressed, and disoriented. They may propel themselves into corners, lean against stationary objects, or circle toward the affected side”.

However, the above theory has already been disputed, because sheep and goats suffering from listeriosis generally die within 14 to 48 hours after exhibiting the first symptoms. The sheep in the viral video have been at it for 12 days straight, and they seem perfectly healthy.


Although this kind of behavior is considered uncommon, it is not unheard of. In fact, back in 2018, we covered a similar story of hundreds of reindeer on Russia’s Kola Peninsula, in the Arctic Circle, walking in circular patterns for no apparent reason.

Posted in News        Tags: , , , , , , ,