This Ultra-Detailed Corn Maze Is Built With Drones And GPS

Corn mazes, an autumnal American tradition, are usually a creative pursuit. Farmers mow down sections of their corn fields to give visitors a puzzle to navigate, often incorporating geometric shapes or even recognizable images into their designs. But for the corn maze at Warner Farm in Massachusetts, that creativity goes into overdrive. Named after owner Mike Wissemann, Mike's Maze has been designed by Mike's daughter-in-law Jess Marsh Wissemann since 2015 and by landscape artist Will Sillin for the 15 years previous. For the maze's earliest incarnations, Sillin relied on graph paper and detailed measurements, and used a combination of careful planting beforehand and mowing later, to create such designs as a portrait of Charles Darwin, replete with five species of Galapagos finches. Eventually, Sillin was able to use a GPS-guided mower to create a stunning image of Salvador Dalí's mustachioed face. When Jess Marsh Wissemann took over, she added even finer detail to the GPS-aided system by using an aerial drone mounted with a camera to figure out which individual stalks need to be cut, thereby creating ultra-detailed designs featuring Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 2015 and a WPA poster of Yellowstone National Park in 2016. Learn more about how corn mazes happen in the videos below.

Mike's Maze Celebrates The National Park Service Centennial

Explore the farm and see the design they used to celebrate the National Park Service.

The "Alice In Sunderland" Corn Maze

Admire the impressive detail in this ode to Lewis Carroll.

How Corn Mazes Are Troubling Law Enforcement

Corn mazes can be fun, as long as you don't get lost.

The Science of Mazes

Today I learned that "amazing" comes from the word "maze".

Key Facts In This Video

  1. One of the earliest references to a maze occurs in the Greek legend of the labyrinth and the minotaur. 00:31

  2. A janitor in Japan spent seven years making one of the most complex hand-drawn mazes ever created. 03:07

  3. People have died after getting lost in the sprawling Odessa Catacombs. 04:00

Written by Curiosity Staff October 14, 2016

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