The Mystery of Nazca Lines – Peru

Back in 2005, I made a trip to Peru. The most exotic trip that remains with me till today! We travelled from the desert of Nazca to the mountains of the Machu Picchu and into the land of the Amazon. Sometimes I think this small country has just all of it takes to make it geographically balanced!

View of the Pan Amerixan Highway through the Nazca Lines

From the 12 days I spent in Peru, the most intriguing sector visited was the rubble like desert. Since these deserts are known for its mysterious Nazca lines, we decided to really see it for ourselves. This dry terrain holds one of the most mystifying monuments of the known world. Etched in the surface are 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes and pictures of animals and bird. The biggest pattern being 200mtrs. In the area of 500 sq/km, these patterns are clearly visible from air.

A Watch Tower overlooking the Nazca Lines

The geometric and animal-like patterns have been discovered criss-crossing the pampas is a big puzzle. I really couldn’t believe my eyes! While on the ground, these lines are not visible and it was difficult to understand the complexity and beauty of these different animals and stylized human-like forms. After we took a small chartered plane over the arid land, I was shocked to see how huge and accurate these patterns were! Instantly, I had so many questions flashing my mind! Who built them and what was their purpose? They looked like landing strips, race tracks, astronomical calendar!

Figure of an Alien on a dune

I thought I’ll make a list of some theories, yet none proven accurate –

Theory I
These lines age back to 400 – 650AD. What makes it mysterious is how these precise works could’ve been completed long before the documented invention of human flight? Are the lines signs left by an alien race? Landing strips for UFOs?

Theory II
Since these geoglyphs can only be seen from higher altitudes or from the air some theorize that the Nazca had an early form of flight skills before anyone else in the form of hot air balloons. Maybe the Nazca tribe intended to communicate something to the world with flying arial machines.

Theory III
Locals believe that these lines are a magical form of spell casted by a early cult of the area. Some claim the lines form complex and sacred geometry only known to them.

Theory IV
Some also contend that the lines follow the local underground water lines in the region. But then why do they have such intricate figures and patterns?

Theory V
Maria Reiche a mathematician from Germany studied the Nazca lines for over 20 years and has come up with a most reasonable theory about them. She concluded that the Nazca Lines in Peru were used to track the sun and astronomical calendar cycles. It then instantly became the largest solar observatory in the world.

Theory VI
Some locals also believe that the lines that have formed when the spirits of those long departed enter into the other world and they are showing us a new way with spiritual energy through these patterns.

One of the biggest animal figure - The Condor

The Dog Figure

After all the theories and none being actually proved, this place fascinated me to a great extent. What also worried me was that these lines are superficial and are only 10 to 30 cm deep and could be washed away. This region does not receive rainfall but due to changing climatic conditions, the lines may not resist heavy rain without being damaged.

Geolyph of the Monkey - Maria Reiche