In a vast swath of the rugged Peruvian desert between the Inca and Nazca Valleys lie dozens of contains giant mysterious geoglyphs cut into the sand. Known as the Nazca Lines, the shapes cover an astounding area that measures 37 miles long and a mile wide. The desert drawings encompass uncountable perfectly-straight lines, as well as huge shapes ranging from hummingbirds and even something that resembling ET. Because of the scale of the shapes, they can only fully be appreciated from the sky or on top of a high rise in the desert. They are believed to have been created by a Nazca tribe between 200 BC and 500 BC by removing the iron-oxide coated pebbles which cover the surface of the desert. However, no one knows how they managed to make the designs so precise without an overhead view or the functions of the creations.
The Nazca Lines were first spotted when commercial airlines began flying across the Peruvian desert in the 1920’s. Passengers reported seeing ‘primitive landing strips’ on the ground below.
In his 1968 book Chariots of the Gods, Erich von Daniken suggested that the lines were built by ancient astronauts as a landing strip. Besides the obvious reasons this theory is difficult to absorb, the desert and its soft movable dirt and sand would not be an idea place to land or take off with something using rocket propulsion.
Maria Reiche, a German mathematician and archaeologist, believed the lines were an Astronomical Calendar indicating the direction of the rising of important stars and planetary events like sun solstices.
After further research, it was found that only 20 percent had any astronomical orientation, discounting this theory.
Robert Bast linked the lines to the Flood Stories in his book A Memory of the Deluge with the shapes as a memorial place to those lost in the flood.
Markus Reindel’s Dowsing Theory says that the Nazca Figures are markers for a subterranean waterflow. The desert lacks obvious water sources, which would make it very difficult for a tribe the size of the Nazca to survive and flourish there. He believed that there were underground sources of water that were marked using the giant shapes.
There are many other theories, but none have been proven to this point. The reality is that we still don’t know why the shapes exist. While it is believed that they were created by utilizing someone standing on a high peak who relayed instructions to workers below, it is also unknown how the Nazca achieved such perfectly straight lines and carved the giant designs with such accuracy.
Unfortunately, the Nazca Lines have suffered gradual destruction in recent years due to tourism, tomb raiding, and mining become more popular in the area. As the shapes are beginning to disappear, we may never know the true reason that they ever existed.