Nazca Lines: Mysterious Geometrical Lines in Peru is One of the Oldest Unsolved Mysteries of World
Whether it's a beach or a desert, we all might have drawn our names on the sand, But who had drawn these giant Nazca lines in Peru? Read to find out more.
About 250 miles south of Lima, Peru, and not far off from the shores of the Pacific Ocean, lies a great arid plane depicts one of the oldest mysteries of the world. The legendry Nazca Lines, stretching nearly 200 square miles, is a collection of giant geoglyphs consisting of motifs and designs etched on the ground.
Scholars exploring the patterns states that these were created by the ancient Nazca culture of South America, depicting various flora, fauna, and beautifully designed geometrical shapes.
The 2000 years old lines can only be appreciated when they are viewed from the air given their massive size. Despite being studied for more than 80 years, the geoglyphs were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994 are still a mystery to the curious researchers.
What is Nazca Lines?
One can distinguish three basic types of Nazca lines: straight lines, geometric designs, and pictorial representations. You will find more than 800 straight lines along the coastal plain, some of them extending up to 30 miles in length.
There are 300 geometric designs and include basic shapes: triangles, trapezoids, and rectangles, along with some artistic lines: spirals, wavy lines, and zigzags. Some of the lines represent about 70 species of animals and plants measuring up to 1200 feet long such as spider, spider, hummingbird, cactus plant, monkey, whale, llama, duck, flower, tree, lizard and dog.
Humanoid figurines are also present among them, which the Nazca people nicknamed "The Astronaut," having hands and some unidentifiable depictions. According to the anthropologists, the Nazca culture began at around 100 B.C.
It flourished from A.D. 1 to 700, creating the majority of the lines. Other cultures such as Chavin and Paracas predated the Nazca are considered to have created some of the geoglyphs.
The Nazca lines are located in the desert plains of the Rio Grande de Nasca river basin. An archaeological site spanning over 75,000 hectares is one of the driest places on the planet.
Nazca Lines Revealed
In the 1500s, several curious travelers dared to stump on them and explained these lines as remnants of roads that were vast and complicated from a bygone civilization. However, the truth about these geoglyphs came out in 1927 when a Peruvian archaeologist, Toribio Mejia Xesspe, was exploring a series of nearby hills and looked down on the furrows in the valley below.
He instantly realized that these desert grooves are not the ruins of ancient roads, rather they were a set of massive images, symbols carved onto the earth. He stated that they were so massive that they could never be recognized from the ground level.
Later in 2011, a Japanese team of researchers discovered some new geoglyphs that appeared representing a scene of decapitation measuring about 4.2 meters long and 3.1 meters wide, which is far smaller compared to the other Nazca figures and cannot be seen from aerial surveys.