7. The Nazca Hummingbird. Coordinates: 14°41’32.27″S, 75° 8’56.91″W. The Nazca Hummingbird is only one of many designs and strange “air strips” sketched across the Nazca desert of Peru. These unusual man made features were first discovered in the 1930s by passengers on aircraft flying over this vast desert on the way to other destinations. The Nazca lines were created by brushing the reddish pebbles from the desert floor, which revealed the lighter colored sand underneath. Due to the lack of rainfall and wind erosion, these lines and drawing have been preserved for centuries. Their purpose remains uncertain, although one theory states the lines and drawing were created to help bring rain. For more information on the Nazca Lines, please see our article here.
6. Chichén Itzá. Coordinates: 20°40’58.64″N, 88°34’5.50″W. Chichén Itzá is an archaeological site built by the Mayan civilization located in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. The translation of its name literally means “at the mouth of the well of the Itza”. It was originally built around 600 AD and records indicate it fell around 1000 AD. Although Chichén Itzá was no longer a flourishing city by the time the Spanish Conquistadors arrived, the Mayans managed to initially push back the Spanish invaders until it was eventually conquered. The Spanish used the site as a cattle ranch in 1588 following the Mayan defeat. Chichén Itzá had once been major economic power in the Mayan lowlands and archaeological work has recovered many fine examples of Mayan relics.
5. Cerne Abbas Giant. Coordinates: 50°48’49.00″N, 2°28’28.99″W. The Cerne Abbas Giant, also known as the “Rude Man” or the “Rude Giant” is a figure that stands 180 ft long and 167 ft wide. It is carved in the hillside of Cerne Abbas, just north of Dorchester, England. It’s origin and date is unknown, although there are no records of this carved giant prior to the late 17th century. It’s purpose is also unknown, although most scholars tend to agree it is either a symbol of fertility or the representation of the Roman Heracles. Cerne Abbas folklore claim the figure is the actual outline of a real giant that came from Denmark and was soundly defeated by the local villagers as he slept on the hill. Although we may never know the real purpose of this carving on the hill, it is an important part of the local culture and rechalked every 25 years to preserve its features.
4. Strange Carved Lines in China. Coordinates: 40°27’28.56″N, 93°23’34.42″E. There isn’t much information available on these strange, yet beautiful mosaic lines carved in the desert of the Gansu Sheng province in China. Some records indicate they were created in 2004, but nothing that seems official. Of note is that these lines are somewhat near the Mogao Caves, which is a World Heritage Site. The lines span a very huge distance and yet still retain their linear proportions despite the curvature of the rough terrain. Perhaps this is a military site to test kill probabilities of Chinese missile systems. If utilizing Google Earth to view this feature, you will notice many questions from fellow Googlers wondering what this feature is and its intended purpose.