Video Shows Herds of Arctic Reindeer Walking in Mesmerizing Circular Patterns

A video of several reindeer herds on Russia’s Kola Peninsula, in the Arctic Circle, walking in circular patterns for no apparent reason has been getting a lot of attention on social media lately.

The video was originally posted on the Facebook page of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography Peter the Great, aka Kunstkámera, located in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was apparently captured during a recent expedition to the Kola Peninsula, in Russia’s Murmansk region. The 30-second clip shows large herds of arctic reindeer walking in circular patterns, both in the wild and in pens, and while several theories have been formulated to explain the animals’ behavior, so far no one has been to confirm if any of them actually make sense.

Photo: Facebook video screengrab

Andrei Golovnev, director of Kunstkámera, who also shared the mesmerizing footage on his Facebook page, captioned it with “a friend of mine said that the cycles and whirlpools are paths to a different reality”. That was enough to get people talking about alien circles and unseen energy patterns causing the animals to follow its swirls. Others commented that it must be the magnetic field of the Earth, since Kola Peninsula is so close to the North Pole.

Those were some of the esoteric theories thought up by Facebook users, but some people actually came up with some logical ones as well. For example, one person wrote that it could be a way to protect the weakest members of the herd from predators. In the top-down section of the clip, you can see that the handful of deer right in the middle of the circle aren’t moving, so I guess this theory has some merit.


Another interesting explanation was that the circular movement is just a way for the reindeer to stay warm in the tundra. The constant motion and friction between the reindeer creates energy, and the movement pattern and multiple circles help contain heat.

Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that the video is nothing short of mesmerizing to watch.

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