A pilot flying over the Nazca desert after a recent sandstorm spotted geoglyphs that have never been seen before.
Discovered in 1935, the famous Nazca Lines cover a 450-kilometer-square area on the Peruvian coastal plain. The 700 or so geoglyphs were scratched on the ground between 2,000 and 1,500 years ago, and they depict animals, plants, imaginary beings, and geometric figures. They’re believed to have served a ritual astronomical purpose, according to UNESCO, which designated the area as a World Heritage Site in 1994. Researchers think the lines were created by removing several centimeters of pellets coated with iron-oxide, leaving the lighter sand below in stark contrast to the rest of the area.
The newly exposed figures were spotted by Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre in July on hills of the El Ingenio Valley and Pampas de Jumana. They appear to be of a snake (about 60 meters long), a bird, maybe a llama, and a few long zig-zags.
According to Peruvian newspaper El Comerico, researchers think the geoglyphs were created during the transition period between the Paracas and Nazca cultures. Archaeologists will be authenticating the find.