Sandstorms Reveal Ancient Designs in Peru Desert
Pilot spots newly exposed Nazca lines
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2014 9:25 AM CDT
A figure known as "the spider" is seen center left in the zone known as the Nazca lines in Peru's coastal Nazca Desert.   (AP Photo/Harold Heckle)

(Newser) – Sandstorms in Peru have revealed mysterious designs believed to have been etched into the desert thousands of years ago. The newly exposed geoglyphs, discovered last week by a pilot flying over the region, include a snake nearly 200 feet long as well as a bird and some llama-like creatures, reports the Independent. Other designs, known as the Nazca Lines, were first spotted in the desert region from the air in 1939, the Daily Mail notes, and archaeologists are now working to confirm that the new lines are genuine.

The Nazca Lines—described by UNESCO as "a unique and magnificent artistic achievement that is unrivaled" elsewhere in the prehistoric world—are thought to have been etched into the desert by the Nazca people sometime before 500AD, and they include long lines and geometric shapes as well the shapes of animals and plants. Many scholars believe they were used for astronomic rituals, but one of Peru's top experts tells El Comercio that the new finds confirm the relationship between "the ancient people who occupied this arid desert with rain and worship of water." (Another prehistoric find was made in Spain recently—the oldest human poop ever discovered.)

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Aug 8, 2014 4:11 PM CDT
I rented a plane and flew over the lines of Nazca and then spent a few hours with Marie, a German lady who explained that she had been guarding, measuring and drawing the lines for years. She explained that the people were geniuses and they were making the lines as a type of scribed prayer for more rain so that the animals and plants would be able to grow and reproduce. She compared the angles (19 was often used) used to Egyptian drawings. She asked me to ask National Geographic for a motorcycle and a drawing board so she could continue her work because someone had run across the monkey drawing with an ATV and she needed something to gave a friend go daily around the sites to protect them. She was living very spartanly and said that Von Danigan (sp?) had come to the area and bribed the locals to have pictures taken with rocks that he had decorated to support some idea he had that they were made by aliens. She said they were so smart with their tools, they could start on one side of a mountain and take up where they left off on the other side.
Aug 6, 2014 3:58 PM CDT
No mystery here, these are ancient irrigation canals.
Aug 6, 2014 1:00 PM CDT
If it doesn't have a face like Jebus, I no longer read articles of this nature.