The Nazca lines are some 800 lines, 300 geometrical figures, and 70 animal figures carved into the Atacama desert like ancient graffiti. They are spread over 500sq km and still to this day, no one really knows why they exist.

Because they are so big their pattern is not really distinguishable from the ground, so they were only ‘discovered’ in the 1930ies by a pilot who happened to fly over the area. Ever since their discovery, the mysterious lines have puzzled archaeologists and scientists, although it has been possible to roughly date them as having been created between 400 to 650 AD. Some believe they are a kind of astronomical calendar, while others believe they were built for religious rituals. People with a bit more imagination believe they were created by aliens – and if you consider that one of the figures is apparently an astronaut you can kind of follow that logic, almost 🙂 Hard-core Indiana Jones fans on the other hand believe that the Nazca lines lead to the crystal skull 😉

flying over the nazca lines landscape

Because the lines can only be fully appreciated from above the ground, I booked myself onto a six-seater plane to “enjoy” the lines as they were supposed to be enjoyed – from the heavens (I left my poor husband in the hotel to get on with some work – someone has to pay for my adventures. 🙂 )

I say “enjoy” as the flight was fairly gut wrenching to put it mildly. The pilots are great and want to make sure that people on both sides of the plane can see the lines perfectly, so they twist and turn the plane quite like wanna-be Top Gun pilots. Sadly it was too much aeronautical acrobatics for a young lad in front of me though who ended up wishing he’d had less to eat for breakfast, much to the amusement of his mean brothers. Luckily I managed not to waste my breakfast, although at times it was quite a close call.

flying over the Nazca lines planeflying over nazca lines tammy in plane

Anyway, as a bit of an archaeological geek I found the Nazca lines amazing. I saw some of the most famous figures, including the orca whale, the astronaut (obviously drawn by aliens???), a colibri, a condor, a monkey, a spider, and a slightly random hand.

flying over nazca lines orca whaleflying over nazca lines astronautflying over nazca lines colibriflying over nazca lines condorflying over nazca lines monkey

flying over nazca lines spiderflying over nazca lines hand

Which begs the question which one is your favourite figure, and more importantly do you support the alien/Crystal Skull hypotheses?

About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

11 Thoughts on “The mysterious Nazca Lines in Peru…

  1. සෙන්නා on January 24, 2014 at 4:30 am said:

    i too like to connect them with aliens..

    <

    agreed 🙂

  2. Great photos! I actually found it hard to spot some of them, but maybe it was because I was so preoccupied with worrying about the angle of our plane! Interestingly, a macho guy on our flight was sick too. These guys aren’t as tough as they make out when it comes down to it…! 😉
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    • Tammyonthemove on January 26, 2014 at 1:06 am said:

      Thanks Ari. Luckily our pilot pointed out each figure in Spanish and English, otherwise I would have had trouble too. Ha ha, it is always the macho guys who end up being wimps. 😉

  3. My favourite is the monkey of course. Tammy the pictures are awesome, great job! 🙂

  4. Great shots! I love the whale one 🙂
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  5. We didn’t get to do this when we were in Peru – I was too terrified of the small planes 🙂 Great captures though. And it’s always fun to hear about the different theories on how these came about.
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    • Tammyonthemove on January 29, 2014 at 1:33 pm said:

      If you are a nervous flyer then these small planes are definitely not for you. 🙂 You can also see the hand figure from a viewing platform, but I am not sure how good the experience is.

  6. Lucky you! Did you hear about Greenpeace ruining the hummingbird one recently?
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