THE NAZCA Lines in Peru are believed by many to be landing pads for alien UFOs and can be seen from space in these striking photos by astronaut Ivan Vagner.
The Nazca Lines are a collection of mysterious lines or geoglyphs etched into the ground some 200 miles south of Lima, Peru. Believed by many to have been created as landing pads for extraterrestrial UFOs, the Nazca Lines were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner caught a glimpse of the Nazca Lines from the International Space Station (ISS), sparking some debate about their origin.
The cosmonaut shared his photos on Twitter, saying: “While flying over #Peru, I managed to capture the #Nazca Lines.
“The group of geoglyphs includes several thousand lines. These are trenches up to 135cm wide.
“Ufologists love the theories saying that those pictures visible from space are meant to be used by aliens to land ships :)”
The Nazca Lines were first brought to widespread attention in the 1930s with the advent of commercial flight.
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The geoglyphs are not visible from ground-level, which has led many to seek answers of their origin off-world.
However, Mr Wagner shot down the theory arguing even 250 miles up in space he could not see them all at once.
He said: “I decided to capture even before flight, but managed to find it only after several flyovers and using the 1,200mm lens.
“And even after capturing them several times and every time we fly past I can’t notice them at once, so I think they aren’t meant to be observed from space!”
The Nazca lines are formed into some 300 basic geometric shapes while some are more elaborate and look like animals.
The majority of the lines were created between 1AD and 700AD by the Nazca people of south Peru.
In the 1930s and 1940s, historian Paul Kosok studied the geoglyphs and their position in relation to the sun around the time of the winter solstice.
Mr Kosok determined the geoglyphs are somehow related to astronomy.
In the book Mystery of the Nazca Lines, author Bonnie Hinman wrote: “By chance, Kosok’s wife Rose took a picture of him among the lines at sunset in June 1941.
“The Sun was setting almost exactly at the end of one of the Nazca lines.
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“Kosok later said he and his wife thought they had happened upon the world’s largest astronomy book.”
But the astronomical connections have been challenged in later years, with scientists in the 1960s and 1970s proposing alternate theories.
American astronomer Gerald Hawkins disagreed and effectively debunked the theory in 1968.
Dr Hawkins, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory, also famously theorised about the nature of Stonehenge.
According to National Geographic, there is a very simple explanation for the mysterious geoglyphs.
Johan Reinhard, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, speculated the geoglyphs may have been part of rituals meant to bring down rain.
He wrote in a 1998 booklet: “One of the reasons why these giant desert geoglyphs have captured our attention is precisely because there are no simple answers.
“This does not mean, however, that we cannot come closer to a solution, as long as we utilise a theory that is consistent, brings together the available facts into a meaningful whole, and remains in accord with what we know of traditional Andean beliefs and customs.
“In this way we can not only come closer to understanding the desert geoglyphs but will also have broadened our perspectives regarding ancient man in the process.”