A Whale in the Desert

July162018

Peruvian archaeologists have discovered an orca whale laying hidden in the desert for more than 2,000 years. And this is no ordinary whale, it is a “geoglyph” (a large design created on the ground using natural elements like rocks, trees and dirt) created thousands of years ago around 200 B.C.E. by people from the Paracas culture in the remote desert of southern Peru. The orca measures 230 feet in length and is thought to be one of the oldest geoglyphs in the area, predating the famous Nazca Lines in a nearby region.

This amazing whale was actually discovered and photographed in the 1970s but its location was incorrectly documented, and so it was lost to science for over 50 years. Then 4 years ago Johny Isla, the head of Peru’s Ministry of Culture in Ica province saw the pictures of the whale and decided to hunt for it. He spent months searching using Google Earth, and then good old fashioned exploring on foot, finally rediscovering it in January of 2015. After thousands of years the whale glyph had suffered from serious erosion, so a team of specialists was created to restore the whale to its original glory. The beautiful design is now clearly visible on its hillside in Peru, and Isla and his team are continuing their research on the geogyphs so that they can learn more about how and why they were created, while making sure they are preserved for the generations to come.

Want to learn more? Visit https://www.livescience.com/61035-ancient-killer-whale-geoglyph-peru.html

July 16, 2018

 

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