Mysterious geoglyphs of the Atacama Desert in Chile

On the west coast of South America in Chile is the Atacama Desert, the driest desert on the planet. It has the lowest humidity and almost no plants or animals. But there are interesting geoglyphs, the origin of which even today remains a mystery.

In some places of the Atacama Desert, it rains only once in several decades, and there are places where no rain has ever been recorded by meteorologists. Because of this dry climate, flora and fauna are poorly developed, but deposits of copper and other minerals are available. There are the world’s largest reserves of natural sodium nitrite, which is widely used in the food industry as a preservative.

Local residents in this region have an acute shortage of drinking water. They solve part of the problem with the help of “foggers” – special devices, shaped, for example, as a high cylinder. The walls of this cylinder are made of nylon threads. Mist as condensate falls on the cylinder walls and flows down the threads into the barrel. Thanks to such a simple device, people can collect up to 18 liters of water per day.

Mysterious geoglyphs of the Atacama Desert
Mysterious geoglyphs of the Atacama Desert

There are also amazing geoglyphs in the Atacama Desert. One of them is the labyrinth in San Pedro, the purpose of which is unknown. Scientists have examined the labyrinth and have found out that during its construction, the ancient builders used two methods: they scraped off the top layer of soil on the hillsides and then created the contour of images by laying stones on the ground surface. Another sophisticated technique was also used, which, through a combination of different mining processes, made it possible to create the light and dark tones of the figures.

The total area of the Atacama Desert is just over one hundred thousand square kilometers. And about five hundred different geoglyphs have already been found throughout this area. Most of them are so large that they can be seen only from a bird’s-eye view. The age of these mysterious drawings is not precisely fixed, but scientists suppose that it is at least 2500 years.

Another no less interesting and mysterious drawing of the Atacama desert is the so-called giant, a large anthropomorphic geoglyph. The length of this prehistoric desert image is 86 meters. And its age is estimated at 9000 years. It was also given a special name – “tarapaca”. Also, because of its impressive size, it will be well seen only from the plane. From below, this geoglyph, like the majority of others, is only a chaotic heap of stones.

Mysterious geoglyphs
Mysterious geoglyphs

The drawing has been found out rather recently thanks to Google Maps service. A geoglyph is a humanoid figure with straight lines coming out from the head and hips. The most interesting is the face of the figure, which does not look like a human face or humanoid description.

Mysterious geoglyphs in Chile
Mysterious geoglyphs in Chile

Nothing is known to science about the creators nor the purpose of this anthropomorphic geoglyph. Scientists can only speculate that perhaps the Tarapaca giant, like other geoglyphs located nearby, was a kind of road sign for the Inca caravans. A little above the giant, there are circles and lines surrounded by images of owls, llamas, birds, people, and various abstract pictures.

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