Other Geoglyphs

South America

The lines at Nazca aren’t the only landscape figures this region boasts.


 850 miles south of Nazca is perhaps the world’s largest human figure, etched into the side of Solitary Mountain. The Giant of Atacama at Cerro Unitas is an incredible 393 feet high and is surrounded by lines similar to those at Nazca.


In fact there is a copy of this image at Nazca, although the only place I have seen it mentioned is in Erich von Daniken’s "Arrival of the Gods".



Below are drawings of llamas, with large images of birds, lizards, fish, crosses, humans and patterns also appearing in the Atacama desert of northern Chile.



Just 130 miles from Nazca, dug into a sloping hill at Pisco Bay on the Peruvian coast, this drawing looks very much like a candlestick - which gives it the name of "The Candelabra of the Andes".


Detail of Santa Valley, Peru. The scale represents 10 meters. Ignore the vertical double line - it is not a geoglyph but rather the azimuth heading of 280-degrees.

There has been much speculation about the purpose of the 595 foot high candelabra, but no definitive answer.


It is constructed in a different manner to the Nazca lines, using trenches up to one meter in depth, and is best viewed from out at sea - it can be seen from as far away as 12 miles.


Pottery found near the figure has been carbon dated to 200 BC.


Other, less mysterious lines and figures have been found within Peru - between the Fortaleza, Pativilca and Rimac valleys, in the Viru Valley (on the north coast), the Sierra Pintada (the painted mountains) and in the Zana Valley, over 1,000 km to the north of Nazca.* And these at Santa Valley (image left)




Along the Colorado river between southern Nevada and the Gulf of California are more than 200 huge figures. The first to be discovered was the giant near Blythe, California by a pilot in 1923.




Found just north of Quartzite, Arizona, is the Bouse Fisherman:



You might also want to check out a star burst at China Lake, California, and the giant of Paradise Valley in Southwestern Montana that is around 1,287 ft. long with an arm span of about 330 ft!



The English geoglyphs are mostly chalk figures, which require constant maintenance to stop them disappearing back beneath grass and soil. This lack of durability means that many others are bound to have disappeared centuries ago.



The Uffington White Horse and the Long man of Wilmington, are famous. Visit the Hillfigure Homepage for 41 other British figures.




Humans are still busy making geoglyphs, perhaps with more ease than earlier examples. Australia has a few modern geoglyphs, such as the Marree Man, constructed in 1998, and 4 kms tall - and a Giant Wallaby.


You can also check out another recent one at Munich Airport.

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(*) Wilson, David J.; "Desert Ground Drawings in the Lower Santa Valley, North Coast of Peru," American Antiquity," 53:794, 1988