The Nazca Lines are a series of geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in Peru. Clearly visible from the sky are some 300 figures carved into the desert sand (See Map). The carvings of straight lines, geometric shapes, animals and birds have resulted in a number of theories as to their meaning.
Swiss writer Erich von Däniken suggested in his book Chariots of the Gods that the lines were built by ancient astronauts as a landing field. Maria Reiche, archeologist and long time Nazca Line researcher, theorized that the builders of the lines used them as a sun calendar and an observatory for astronomical cycles. Skeptic Joe Nickell debunks von Däniken's and Reiche's theories with his own: that the lines were created by the Nazcas with simple tools- agreeing with those who believe their purpose was to appease Indian gods.
While people debate over the origin and meaning, the Nazca Lines are an enigma which will continue to remain a mystery.