An unusual pattern has been spotted in a cornfield near Milford Center.

An unusual pattern has been spotted in a cornfield near Milford Center.

It's not a crop circle, however, or the work of some paranormal or extraterrestrial force. In fact, aerial photos show the formation closely resembles Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo.

Hanna is being honored this year at The MAiZE in Milford Center, a popular event that opened to visitors Friday. Its name is derived from the fact that the labyrinth (maze) is located in a field of corn (maize). It was a pun the organizers couldn't resist.

The MAiZE is located at 8657 Axe Handle Road, Milford Center, 10 miles south of Marysville and 8 miles west of Plain City just off state Route 161.

The MAiZE caters to families during daylight hours, but the labyrinth takes on a scarier feel after dark when rustling stalks and unlit pathways are inhabited by mysterious creatures.

"We think The MAiZE provides a fun source of Halloween entertainment for people of all ages," said owner Randy Rausch. "It's still good clean fun in our big Jack Hanna maze for families with small children, but a real thriller in our haunted maze for those looking for a fright at night."

Rausch said The MAiZE will remain open through Nov. 2 from 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Haunting begins at dark on Fridays and Saturdays.

The MAiZE is also open for field trips or large groups on weekdays by reservation.

The MAiZE is a human labyrinth carved into a 9-acre cornfield owned by Randy and Jayne Rausch. It was designed by Brett Herbst, the world's leading designer of corn mazes with more than 600 to his credit.

The MAiZE is designed to challenge the wits of those attempting to find the one exit from more than two miles of twists, turns and dead ends.

The 10-foot-high labyrinth pays tribute to Jack Hanna's 30th anniversary of being associated with the Columbus Zoo. On average, maze-goers will wander for more than an hour seeking the labyrinth's one and only exit.

The MAiZE also has additional activities including a pumpkin patch, hayrides, corn cannons, play area with additional mini mazes, cow barrel train, farm animals, goat mountain, campfires, pedal carts, PVC roller slide and rubber duck races.

New activities added to the play area for 2008 include laser tag and family dodgeball.

For more information on admission prices or to make reservations, call (937) 349-4781 or visit www.cornfieldmaze.com.