700 years ago, for reasons that are still unknown, ancient people sculpted hundreds of geoglyphs in the Amazon. One of the most famous geoglyphs is the Nazca Lines in Peru. Recently, a combination of deforestation and high-resolution satellite imagery is beginning to expose many more of them.
Because of their huge size, geoglyphs are almost impossible to discover from ground level. It’s only when you get high in the air can you begin to see the shapes coming together in a pattern. A quote from TreeHugger:
One of the factors that contributed to so many geoglyphs being undetected prior to the aid of satallites is their enormous size. According to leading geoglyph scientist Alceu Ranzi, his latest discoveries — five sets of geometric shapes, with circles, squares and lines — can measure more than a mile from one extreme to another.
As Ogle Earth noticed, the TreeHugger article didn’t actually point out the exact location of any of the geoglyphs. However, GloboAmazonia found some of them, which you can view below, or download the KML file to view directly in Google Earth.
View Amazon geoglyphs in a larger map
While discovering more of them may help to eventually find out why they were created, further deforestation may be the only way to reveal them. To again quote TreeHugger, ” if it takes more clear-cutting in the Amazon rainforest to find out the answer, hopefully it will always remain a mystery.”