Most people are likely aware of crop circles: sprawling, circular patterns often made in the cornfields of farmers throughout the world that are said to be created by extraterrestrials. They’re possibly a form of communication, possibly a warning. But perhaps the most fascinating of these types of symbols, dubbed geoglyphs, are the Nazca Lines found across the dry, desert plains of southern Peru.
Said to be created by the Nazca culture between 500 BCE and 500 CE, there are more than 100 of these massive glyphs, depicting everything from simple lines, to intricate designs of monkeys, humans, fish, jaguars, and birds. Although the symbols are recognizable, the true purpose of these glyphs is unknown. Some say the lines were created as a means of giving incoming sailors directions. Others say they were used for astronomical purposes, as a way to signal the stars.