General, Research, Technology

Largest drawing of a cat discovered on Earth's surface

On the southern coast of the state of Peru, there is a region known as Nazca plateau... If you fly over this place on an airplane,huge geometric shapes can be seen on the surface of the earth. They were painted thousands of years ago by representatives of the Nazca culture, but for what exactly, no one knows exactly. Once upon a time, huge drawings were clearly distinguishable, but over time, the outlines of the drawings have become dull. Therefore, scientists still cannot find all the existing drawings and they do not even know how many there are. Recently, it was planned to build an observation deck on the Nazca plateau, but while examining one of the hills from different angles, the builders found another drawing. It is made in the form of a huge cat and, like many other images, has lost its shape over time. But now the drawing has been restored and some details have become known to scientists.

Drawing of a cat in Peru

Drawings more than 4 meters long applied to the ground are called geoglyphs... The Nazca geoglyphs are so large that they can only be seen in the air.

Huge Nazca Geoglyph

About the new drawing on the Nazca plateau told the publicationBBC News. Until now, scientists have known about the existence of only 30 geoglyphs in the form of birds, monkeys and other animals. The length of these images is tens of meters, so the length of all ancient works of art from north to south is more than 50 kilometers. Representatives of the Nazca people created huge geoglyphs, removing gravel from the surface of the plateau and exposing lighter rocks. The thickness of the lines that make up the outlines of the drawings, on average, is 30 centimeters. Initially, the contours were clearly visible, but over time they began to fade due to the destruction of rocks.

Geoglyphs of Nazca from a bird's eye view

If on the Nazca plateau they had not decided to buildobservation deck, we would hardly have known about the existence of a huge drawing in the form of a cat. The animal is drawn from the side, but its head looks up to the sky. Having restored the disappearing contours of the drawing, scientists measured its dimensions and found that the length of the drawing is as much as 37 meters. The huge images on the ground are certainly not Egyptian pyramids, but they are still impressive. How long it took to create such huge paintings is unknown, but the ancient people clearly had great patience and focus on results.

Archaeologists restore the drawing in the form of a cat

See also: Ancient peoples painted drawings on Earth, visible only from great heights

History of huge drawings

According to the researchers, the drawing was createdabout 500-100 BC, in the so-called late Paracas period. This means that this is a very old piece of art. In comparison, the rest of the Nazca geoglyphs were painted between AD 100-200. The Ministry of Culture of Peru has already put the drawing under protection and the proposal to build an observation deck on the hill was refused.

The process of creating Nazca geoglyphs as seen by the artist

For the first time, drawings on the Nazca plateau were discovered in1939. Moreover, the discovery was made by accident when the American archaeologist Paul Kosok flew over Peru. Subsequently, the German researcher María Reiche took up the study of ancient images. In 1947, she used the services of military aviation and became the first to photograph ancient drawings from a bird's eye view. There are many photographs of Nazca geoglyphs on the Internet, but a detailed map showing all the drawings still does not exist.

Despite its size, Nazca geoglyphs cannot be seen from Earth's orbit

According to Maria Reiche, the huge drawings on the groundwere necessary for the representatives of the Nazca people to study space. There is an assumption that the Nazca geoglyphs are the world's largest astronomical calendar. On it, allegedly, various astronomical events are indicated, but scientists still cannot decipher them. Perhaps the ancient people in this way tried to contact the inhabitants of other planets. But they would hardly have succeeded, because these drawings are visible only from aircraft. And from Earth's orbit, the crew members of the International Space Station cannot see them without additional equipment.

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It is important to note that not drawn on the Nazca plateauonly animals. In 2018, Peruvian archaeologists explored the area using drones and discovered 50 previously unknown drawings. But they do not have a strictly designated form and represent different shapes. You can read more about this find in this article.