Know about the Mysterious GeoGlyphs, Unexplained Wonders of the World

The Nazca line figure known as The Dog

The Nazca line figure known as The Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the high Andean plateau in Peru, huge depictions of geometric forms and animals can be seen from the sky, but are invisible to people standing on Earth. Who created these gigantic forms, called geoglyphs, and why? They definitely weren’t created by the inhabitants of the region, who had no way of getting up into the sky.

It all started in 1926, when a pilot flew over Nazca territory and discovered the immense figures. Some of the geoglyphs are so big they can only be measured in kilometers. Some have been found in the middle of the desert, others in totally remote locations.

The geoglyphs date back to the time of the Nazca, a pre-Incan civilization in southern Peru, which reached its height between 300 and 800 B.C. There are three sites in all, the best-known being the one named after the Nazca. The other sites are called Jumana and Pampa, but the Nazca site is by far the most spectacular.

Scientific Invasion

The announcement of the discovery in 1926 had the effect of a bomb whose repercussions are still being felt today. The event assumed

Deutsch: Linien von Nazca

Deutsch: Linien von Nazca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

world importance, and many archeologists and scientists gathered in South America to conduct investigations. Two of the most famous were Paul Kosok and Maria Reiche, both highly respected researchers.

Maria Reiche (1903 – 1998) was a German astronomer and mathematician who spent long years living on-site and studying the mysterious geoglyphs and their puzzling meaning. She found great variety in the forms, as well as the surfaces that were used.

Some geoglyphs are figurative and represent a specific animal, like a monkey, a condor, a dog or a spider. Others are composed of geometric figures like spirals, lines and ellipses. The strangest thing is that although the figures extend over vast distances, and despite alterations in terrain (hills and valleys, gorges and rifts) the accuracy and rectitude of the drawings was not in the least affected.

Landing Runways

One of the most common geometric forms was the isosceles triangle, perfectly depicted, and precisely oriented to create long parallel

This aerial photograph was taken by Maria Reic...

This aerial photograph was taken by Maria Reiche, one of the first archaeologists to study the lines, in 1953. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

rectilinear bands, that resemble nothing so much as aviation runways!  The figures were pondered over by many researchers, but none could understand why the Nazca would draw lines in the earth that were so long and perfectly straight. Nevertheless, there must have been a reason.

Nothing in the Nazca traditions or religious beliefs could explain it. Why would they build these complex rectilinear forms that, when seen from above, resemble nothing so much as the runways in our modern airports?

Gigantic Animals

In addition to geometric figures, animals were also drawn in the earth that were remarkably precise. They too were spread over kilometers, but didn’t exhibit any deformation from the alterations in terrain. All were faithful representations of the animal being depicted.

From the spider with legs that are fifty meters long to the hummingbird with a wingspan of one hundred meters, the beasts were drawn with great attention to detail and respect for proportion, which is all the more remarkable since they can be perceived only when seen from high above the ground. The Nazca had not discovered aviation, so there was no way they could see them, even from neighboring hillsides.

Scientists and researchers all wanted to know who had produced them, and for what purpose.

Thanks to the work of Maria Reiche, we know a little more about the techniques used to create the geoglyphs. According to her, the first thing the Nazca did was to strip the ground of rocks and stones that would impede outlining the figures. Then furrows were made in the earth for each of the figures. Finally, stones were laid in the furrows, according to specific plans created beforehand.

Maria Theory Doesn’t Explain Everything

The data presented by Maria Reiche seems plausible, but doesn’t explain how the Nazca verified that their placement of stones on the

Nasca (Peru), Astronaut, August 2007

Nasca (Peru), Astronaut, August 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ground matched the plans they wanted to reproduce. They had no way of getting high enough to see if the geoglyphs really corresponded to the figures they wished to represent, except by flying, which is something they were not able to do.

How the completed figures were verified is still a scientific mystery. Checking to see if something is correct or aligned properly is indispensable, especially in architecture, and especially when the final product is so huge.

So how did the Nazca – or someone else – do it?

Did The Nazca Fly?

No human civilization existing between 300 and 800 B.C. had the ability to fly, or build machines that could fly for them.  As far as we know, Leonardo de Vinci was the first person to draw a flying machine in the 15th Century, but it never actually worked.  The first official balloon flight by the Montgolfier brothers took place in 1783 (A.D.) in Paris.  But it is possible that the Nazca had found a way to fly, or at least rise up into the sky.

Some researchers claim they were able to fabricate hot air balloons capable of lifting them high off the ground. The discovery of immense carbonized craters led some to believe the Nazca had made huge fires to enable their balloons to gain altitude.

In 1975, two aerospace specialists, Julian Nott from England, and the American Jim Woodman, produced a hot air balloon with materials available in South America in 800 B.C. It had cords attached to it, and they were able to get the balloon to a height of 90 meters before it suddenly tipped over and fell to the ground, almost costing one of the researchers his life.

Question to Ponder

This leaves us with a Question – Do we really know our ancient history and their capabilities? Were they more intellectually and scientifically superior with their inherent knowledge than our acquired knowledge?


Posted on April 2, 2012, in Editors Corner and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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