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Found in Peru, in the Pampa desserts, the Nazca lines are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The lines, which are technically geoglyphs, are many miles long and were created by ancient civilizations removing both dirt and the red rock typically found in the area to a depth of about one foot, leaving behind a light colored sand creating a sort of reverse negative picture. In many regions, geoglyphs like this wouldn’t last due to weather, however since Nazca is so protected from wind, rain and erosion, the Nazca Lines have survived for well over 2000 years.

The geoglyphs are so large, and cover so much terrain, that even though they were discovered in 1926, it wasn’t until commercial airline flights began in the 1930s that humans realized the extent of this discovery. From the sky, it was much easier to see how enormous the Lines actually were, and for the first time scientists and archeologists were able to see most of the geometric patterns and actual pictures that the lines created.

Scientists have been disagreeing for years about the lines; not only their origins but also about what they were used for and some 90 years later still can’t agree. Some scientist believe the lines were created by the Nazca people for varied reasons while others still believe that it’s possible that the Nazca had help from extraterrestrials. The main explanations for the use of the lines is as varied as some of the lines themselves, ideas ranging from the lines were used as sort of a road map so the villagers wouldn’t get lost to the lines were used as an irrigation system, and in an area that received only about 20 inches of rain a year, this sounds reasonable.

A few other theories include that the lines could act like an astronomical calendar or possibly was religion based and created for the gods in honor to them or as a means to garner their forgiveness. However the Nazca lines were created and used, it is clear that this mystery has kept our scientists busy, and confused, for many years. With the discovery just a few years ago of even more lines, it appears they will have their hands full for a little while more.

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What could these lines be used for?

What could these lines be used for?

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