Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines in southern Peru are a collection of hundreds of geoglyphs created by the Nazca culture, whose people inhabited the area from about 100 to 800 AD.

[caption id="attachment_8995" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Monkey (photo by Christian Haugen)"][/caption]

The designs were created between 400 and 650 AD by removing the reddish brown pebbles covering the ground to reveal the light gray earth beneath.

[caption id="attachment_8991" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption=""The Astronaut""][/caption]

To create the giant geoglyphs, the Nazca traced straight lines in the earth using stakes and string. They created figures ranging from geometric shapes to spiders,orcas, hummingbirds, human figures and trees.

[caption id="attachment_8999" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption=""Spider""][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_9005" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption=""Dog""][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_9011" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption=""Bird""][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8997" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption=""Hands" (photo by Christian Haugen)"][/caption]

The figures range in size and cover an area of 190 square miles (500 km sq). The largest figures measure over 660 feet (200 m) across. That's about the length of two* American football fields!

Due to the shallowness of the designs on the desert's surface, they would have eroded long ago where it not for the extremely dry, windless climate of the Nazca Desert.

Want to go check out these amazing geoglyphs? Find your dream home rental in Peru here.

Photo credits:
Photo 1: Christian Haugen via Flickr
Photo 2: Astronaut via National Geographic
Photo 3: Spider via World End blog
Photo 4: Dog via Fotopedia
Photo 5: Bird via MPS Journey
Photo 6: Christian Haugen via Flickr
Photo 7 (collage - left to right): photo 1; photo 2; photo 3
Sources: National Geographic; Wikipedia - Nazca Lines and Nazca Culture.
* 1.8 times the size of a football field if the end zones are included and 2.2 times the size if not.
Post by Anis Salvesen