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WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. (KTVI) – Strange circles and symbols are taking shape along interstate 44.
It’s enough to cause some phone calls from curios Google map users.

“We’ve had similar calls and we’ve explained that what you’re seeing from the sky is some of our experimental treatments,” says Tiffany Knight, PhD an Associate Professor of Biology with Washington University.

What some might suspect is from a UFO is really from a university, as in, Washington University at the Tyson Research Center.

That’s a 2,000 acre outdoor laboratory for ecosystem studies.

“So you don’t necessarily think of aloes as living in Missouri but they do,” says Knight.  “We have cacti living in there.”

“Really?” asks Patrick Clark.

“We have those that are native to Missouri in our glades,” adds Knight.  “So we do get some of these almost desert like plant and animal species.”

These Missouri glades, funded by the National Science Foundation are areas of exposed bedrock, containing cacti, tarantulas and even scorpions.

“They’re found here and nowhere else in the world,” says Knight.  “They’re not found in deserts.”

They’re unique species that are just found in Ozark glades and so they are part of our natural heritage.

Though these circles and stars from an overhead view might seem like something of an alien nature, are really natives of Missouri.

“These are species that if we lost them in this region they would be lost to the globe because they are found here and nowhere else,” says Knight.

Guess you could say these glades wrap up our Google map mystery.

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