During a keynote address Sunday night at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NVIDIA President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed that the computer graphics company was behind the stunt.
"It is true. The marketing team is behind this phenomenon," Huang said. "What you're looking at here is 310 feet in diameter. It is what people call a crop circle."
The company was showing off its new Tegra K1 graphics chip, a mobile processor that will now be placed in automobiles, tablets and smartphones.
"It's like, out of this world, it's practically built by aliens," Huang said of the chip.
After coming up with the concept, the company hired a Hollywood location scout to find "the perfect field in Northern California” and then made anonymous calls to local media outlets to report that "Something's going on out in Chualar."
The buzz about the crop circle really took off on Dec. 30.
Brett Murray, who works in marketing for the company, described the mystery as "a puzzle out there for the world to solve."
"This is like Santa Claus," Murray said. "People want to believe."