If you have ever seen a see a man walking aimlessly around in the snow holding a compass, don’t be alarmed.

It’s probably just Simon Beck using his footprints to create stunning geometric shapes in the snow.

Over the last nine years, the English artist has been trekking through snowy fields around the world, creating crop circle-like shapes. Using a compass and a clothes line attached to an anchor, Beck’s shapes can last for years, so long as his snowy canvas remains unmelted.

“On average they take about 10 hours to really do it properly, some are a little unfinished, if my feet get cold or hurt too much,” Beck wrote on Facebook.

“I have never damaged the ice on the lakes I use [as far as I know], when the ice starts melting you seem to get a layer of snow on top of a layer of watery mush on top of the main layer of ice. I often test the ice by jumping on it wearing ski boots and trying to break it (in known shallow areas!) but have not yet succeeded in damaging it other than by dropping a heavy pointed rock.”

Beck’s breathtaking designs reached the front page of Reddit Wednesday. While some people praised his creativity, others suspected his otherworldly designs were the doing of extraterrestrials.

“How do you know the designs weren't made by aliens?!” commented error9900.

“Because it wasn't done in a wheat field,” quipped athole.  

For anyone eager to make their own “snow circles,” Beck provided the following instructions on Facebook. We're guessing that he makes his process sound much simpler than it is:

1. The setting out is done using handheld orienteering compass and distance determination using pace counting or measuring tape. Curves are either judged or arcs of circle using a clothes line attached to an anchor at the centre

2. Add the remaining lines by eye

3. Fill in the shaded areas

After a disappointingly warm 2012, Beck has big plans for 2013.

“If things in Arctic Norway continue to look good I shall go up there after the season has ended here for more art, then next season I plan to sort out some assistants and expand my snow art activities, with visits to other local resorts and possibly a tour,” he said.

Photo by Simon Beck