The Enigma of the Nazca Lines

Post Machu Picchu, we traveled to Pisco to enjoy the beach and also board a small plane to view the Nazca Lines. Formed sometime between 500 BC and 500 AD, these 4 to 6 inch-deep carvings in the hard, clay soil sit in the arid plateaus of the Nazca Desert. There, because of the dry and windless climate, they have remained, nearly untouched, for 2,000 years.

Aside from being old and spectacularly preserved without oversight until recent years, why are they there is the real question. And the general consensus is that there is no general consensus.

There are theories – perhaps they reference astronomy, or perhaps there’s agricultural rationale, but there is one question that no one seems to address: why is one carving so unlike the others? There are hundreds of lines and drawings, all very linear and geometrical – except for one. The carvings are ornate and elaborate, even whimsical – except for one.

The one exception looks cartoonish and is carved into the side of a small mountain as opposed to lying in the flat, desert terrain. It’s a character with an oversized oblong head and an arm stretched out as if waving hi. It’s been named by “The Astronaut.” I think it looks like something else.

Look at the images and ask yourself, why were carvings hundreds of feet long and wide so perfectly and painstakingly carved into clay if a culture without planes (or balloons or blimps) could never fully appreciate the view. On the ground, they look like mere lines in the sand, which is why they escaped notice until the 1930s. And then perhaps ask yourself why alongside ornate tree, flower, and animals carvings, there exists a bulbous creature with an oversized oblong head gesturing hi? These were created 2,000 years ago!

Perhaps we’ll never really know. And I think that’s OK. Because sometimes not knowing is best. Because not knowing leaves rooms for believing…and believing leaves room for infinite, spiritual, and perhaps even extraterrestrial explanations. The beauty of believing, as opposed to knowing, is that you get to decide.

With loving gratitudes,

Image of Monkey found in the Nazca Lines
Image of Tree and Hands found in the Nazca Lines
Image of Astronaut found in the Nazca Lines

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