The Nazca Lines are a collection of unusual, large ancient geoglyphs etched into the high plateaus of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. The largest are nearly a quarter-mile long and depict a variety of objects and shapes including more than 70 drawings of animals such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguars, and monkeys – many of which would have been unknown to inhabitants of the area. Some depict human-like entities. They cover an area about 170 square miles and are only visible from the air.
The drawings are believed to have been created sometime between 500 BC and 500 AD. They were made by gouging shallow lines about 6-inches deep into the ground, removing the natural iron oxide-coated reddish pebbles and exposing the grayish ground beneath. Because of the isolated location and dry, windless environment, the drawings have remained preserved for thousands of years.
The purpose of the lines is unclear. Some theorize they could be related to astronomy or cosmology meaning the area acted as a sort of observatory. Some believe they contain religious significance to the original artists. Some believe they are related to an ancient alien-influence culture attempting to communicate with the “people in the sky”. Others believe they were drawn by stranded aliens themselves, in an attempt to communicate with others of their kind in the sky.
The earliest mention of the Nazca Lines was in a book by Pedro Cieza de Leon in 1553. His mistook the lines for trail markers. The first to distinguish them as drawings were Peruvian military pilots in 1927. Paul Kosok from the Long Island University is credited as the first scholar to seriously study the lines (1940). New figures are still discovered today.
Below are a sampling of the Nazca Lines drawings.