A 37-meter-wide figure of a relaxing cat with a striped tail, pointy ears, and wide eyes has just been discovered in the Nazca desert in Peru.
The Nazca lines are home to many geoglyphs, or designs on the ground, that were created around 2,000 years ago. They were created by people making shallow incisions on the desert floor, leaving differently colored dirt exposed. While some of the Nazca lines are simply that – straight lines, there are also designs of animals and plants, most of which are best seen from the air or high viewing platforms due to their enormous size.
And that’s how this particular cat geoglyph was discovered. Plans were drawn up for a new path leading to an observation deck that would allow visitors to see many of the other lines when they discovered the feline figure.
“The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear because it is situated on quite a steep slope that’s prone to the effects of natural erosion,” the culture ministry said in a statement.
The Nasca and Palpa Lines and Geoglyphs, well inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1994, are one of the most extraordinary and unique works of man. The lines and geoglyphs make up a cultural landscape with deep meaning and symbolism, as they express the magical and religious world of the pre-Hispanic Paracas and Nasca societies, who for more than 1,500 years drew them on the desert sands and mountains. Today they are testimony to the creative genius of the ancient American settlers, and to the unique concepts and forms of religious expression that they developed throughout their history.
It is believed that these lines were used as an ancient form of navigation.