A plane glides over an ancient spider geoglyph in the Peruvian desert.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT CLARK, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE
On a high and dry plateau some 200 miles southeast of Lima, more than 800 long, straight white lines are etched into the Peruvian desert, seemingly at random. Joining them are 300 geometric shapes and 70 figures of animals, including a spider, monkey, and hummingbird.
The longest of the lines run straight as an arrow for miles. The biggest shapes stretch nearly 1,200 feet across and are best viewed from the air. Scientists suspect the Nasca drawings are as many as two millennia old, and because of their age, size, visibility from above, and mysterious nature, the lines are often cited as one of the best examples of alien handiwork on Earth. Otherwise, how would an ancient culture have been able to make such huge designs in the desert without being able to fly? And why?
Turns out, it’s rather easy to understand the how. Called geoglyphs, these enigmatic designs are made by removing the top, rust-colored layer of rocks and exposing the brighter white sand underneath.
The why is a bit tougher to comprehend. First studied in the early 1900s, the designs were initially suspected to be aligned with constellations or solstices, but more recent work suggests the Nasca lines point to ceremonial or ritual sites related to water and fertility. And in addition to being visible from the air, the shapes can be seen from surrounding foothills. paranormal,paranormal,paranormal