The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes and pictures of animals and birds and their patterns are only clearly visible from the air.
To comprehend the Nasca lines, created by the removal of desert rock to reveal the pale pink sand beneath, visitors have proposed every imaginable explanation - from runways for spaceships to tracks for Olympic athletes, from op art to pop art, to astronomical observatories.
One of Peru's most sought-after travel destinations is located in the southern coastal valleys of Peru about six hours from Lima. The small colonial-style town of Nazca is home to perhaps one of the world's greatest mysteries - a series of enormous and peculiar ancient designs made on the ground, the Nazca Lines.
These startling geoglyphs offer more questions than answers. Spread across an incredible 50 miles of high and arid plateau rock, the Nazca Lines consist of more than 800 scratched straight lines, 300 geometric figures and some truly bewildering stylized animal and plant drawings. They are covered with ferruginous sand and gravel which acquired a dark patina from weathering. Many theories have been put forward over the years and the most common one identifies the lines as having ritual astronomical functions.
The Nazca Lines were discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe in 1927 who concluded that the lines were part of ancient sacred roads. The Nazca Lines, however, had never been seen from an aerial view until Paul Kosok of Long Island University flew over in his small aircraft during explorations in 1940-1941.
The Nazca Lines will continue to be a hot debate, so come and view the gigantic hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, sharks and lizards for yourself and make up your own mind on the origins of this national treasure.