A pilot flying over the Nazca desert after a recent sandstorm spotted geoglyphs that have never been seen before!
What are the Nazca Lines?
First discovered in 1935 in southern Peru, the Nazca lines are near the town of Nazca, about 4 hours by road from the Peruvian capital of Lima. They include over 650 “geoglyphs” scattered over the coastal desert, one of the driest areas in the world. These geoglyphs of lines and patterns were “drawn” into the ground, and many have shapes of animals such as the hummingbird, monkey, and spider.
They were made approximately 1500 to 2000 years ago, with the majority of the designs being straight lines that align with the heavens. They are believed to have served a ritual astronomical purpose, according to UNESCO, which designated the area as a World Heritage Site in 1994. Researchers think the lines were created by removing several centimeters of pellets coated with iron-oxide, leaving the lighter sand below in stark contrast to the rest of the area. As there is no rain, the lines remain to this day!
So What’s New?
The newly exposed designs were spotted by a local pilot. The “new” design, which appears to be of a snake, is about 60 meters long, and also features a bird, possibly a llama, and a few long zig-zags.
How Can the Nazca Lines be Visited?
In the same fashion as the pilot who recently viewed the new set of designs from the air, a flight in a light aircraft over the lines is best way to view and appreciate the scale of the work.
A visit to the Nazca Lines is a great one full day excursion from Lima, but it works even better with an overnight stay in nearby Paracas. Here you can visit the wildlife-rich Ballestas Islands before flying over the Nazca lines to take in the ancient wonders of the Peruvian desert.