Nazca Lines – Mysterious drawings that can be seen only from plane

By Narendra V


NAZCA LINESNazca_Lines_Peru_1

Nazca Lines are huge drawings in Nazca desert in Peru. There are hundreds of drawings of birds, animals, plants, simple geometrical lines. They are even visible from satellite. Nazca Lines were declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Archeologists believe they were created by people of Nazca culture between 500 BC and 500 AD.

The drawings are two types biomorphs and geoglyphs. There are some 70 bimorphs which include plants and animals like humming bird, monkey, shark, spider, pelican. Geoglyphs are geometrical lines, there are about 900 of them which historians believe made after 500 years after construction of biomorphs. Geoglyphs include straight lines, triangles, trapezoids, circles. Longest of the lines is a straight line which stretches more than 14 km.


Peruvian Archeologist Toribio Meija Xessepe discovered Nazca Lines in 1927, while on a hiking expedition with his team on the surrounding hills. Then in 1930s aircrafts surveying for water in that area photographed those lines and they became widely popular.

They were made by removing red pebble stones which form surface area of the desert and making a trench few inches deep so that white sand beneath is visible. They were preserved for so many years because of isolated location, windless and driest area where rainfall is less than an inch throughout the year.

Meaning and Purpose

There are many theories explaining meaning and purpose of Nazca Lines. One writer suggests that those lines are spaceports for alien ship landing, but scientists in 1940s declined that theory. American explorer Paul Kosok visited the site and declared it as biggest astronomy book in the world as the lines have astronomical significance. Later Astronomers declared those explanations were non-significant in astronomical science.

In 1985 Archeologist Reinhard explained that the lines were part of religious practices of Nazca culture worshipping mountains and water sources.

Tony Morrison a British explorer theorized that those lines were link between shrines in Nazca culture and built for religious ceremonies.


Peruvian government has been taking every step to ensure the preservation of the site. People who are visiting the site must wear special shoes so that the lines cannot be damaged. But climatologists worry about changing climate conditions all over the globe may damage the site.


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