Tag Archives: Peru

High Winds in Peru Expose Previously Undiscovered Nazca Geoglyphs Etched in the Earth

The picture above is of a new set of geoglyphs discovered in the Valley of El Ingenio in the Nazca plains of Peru. The glyphs include a bird, a camel, and a 60-meter (197-foot) long snake.

The new images were discovered after violent winds of up to 60 miles per hour blew through the region last week, creating a number of sandstorms.

The “Nazca lines” come from a time when the Ica region in Peru was transitioning from the ancient Paracas culture (800 BC – 100 BC) to the Nazca culture (100 BC – 800 AD).

Click to enlarge

During this time, the Nazca people created a number of large animal figures on the Peruvian plains, made up of miles and miles of lines in the earth.

We still don’t know for sure what purpose these figures served. There are a number of theories though.

A number of researchers believe the images served spiritual purposes. Some think that the Nazca were trying to create something that their gods could see from above, or that the lines were used to guide important ceremonial processions.

A map of some of the Nazca lines. Click to enlarge

Others have theorized that the figures represent a sort of astronomical almanac that kept track of the days and seasons while also aiding in the planting and harvesting of crops.

But despite the lines being studies by anthropologists, archaeologists, and astronomers, among others, no conclusive evidence has ever been found for a theory.

Check out some images of other Nazca lines below. Click an image to enlarge:

(h/t Ancient Origins)

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Loggers and Drug Traffickers Forced This Previously Uncontacted Tribe to Contact the Outside World

Back in early July, the group Survival International confirmed that a previously uncontacted tribe indigenous to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil had been spotted near the border with Peru.

This was surprising behavior: the few remain uncontacted tribes in the world tend live on the same lands that their ancestors have inhabited for generations, having established a working equilibrium with their environments.

The sighting prompted José Carlos Meirelles, who has worked as an official for FUNAI (the Brazilian Indian Affairs Department) to say:

“Something serious must have happened. It is not normal for such a large group of uncontacted Indians to approach in this way. This is a completely new and worrying situation, and we currently do not know what has caused it.”

A few members of the tribe. Click to enlarge (Photo: FUNAI)
A few members of the tribe. Click to enlarge (Photo: FUNAI)

Now it seems that Meirelles was right. After the tribe made contact with a neighboring tribe, FUNAI was able to send a representative there to speak with members of the tribe and get their story. It was a grave one.

It quickly became clear that the tribe had been reached by hostile groups before they reached out to their neighbors. FUNAI’s translator had this to say:

“The majority of old people were massacred by non-Indians in Peru, who shot at them with firearms and set fire to the houses of the uncontacted. They say that many old people died and that they buried three people in one grave. They say that so many people died that they couldn’t bury them all and their corpses were eaten by vultures.”

You can check out video of the FUNAI representative’s interactions with the tribe below:

The organization Survival International seeks to help preserve the region’s native inhabitants.

They point out that infrastructure put in place by oil companies (who lease out large parts of the rainforest) makes it easy for loggers and drug traffickers to reach these native populations, often with disastrous results.

They have also created an online petition pleading with the presidents of Peru and Brazil to take action to protect the indigenous tribes.

Read more about the history of these tribes and the problems they face in this quick fact sheet from Survival International.

(h/t IFL Science)

Blue-Footed Boobies: Their Scandalous Sex Lives And the Secret Behind Their Blue Feet (Video)

Blue-footed boobies are pretty fascinating as far as bird species go. The birds are a marine species, only needing land for mating and raising rearing their young.

The birds can be found up and down the Pacific coast from California all the way down to Peru, including in the world famous Galapagos Islands.

The birds are known for their bright blue feet, which they incorporate into their elaborate mating rituals. The birds use the blue feet as an indicator of health and potency: bluer feet mean a better potential mate.

The birds just can’t resist a really blue pair of feet, and often engage in extra-marital affairs. However, they always return to their life partner at the end of the day.

Check out the blue-footed booby’s mating dance and learn about their strange sex lives in the video below:

The Coolest Places on Earth: Machu Pichu, Peru (Pictures)

Machu Pichu is a 15th-century Inca site located in the Andes Mountains in Southeast Peru. Click an image to enlarge.

Bonus picture: wild llama roam freely around the site, which led to this epic photo-bomb that I just had to share.

machu pichu13

Most archaeologists believe Machu Pichu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti who ruled from 1438-1472.

It was built around 1450 but abandoned a century later when the Spanish invaded the region.

The combination of the Spanish invaders, as well as a number of epidemics of European diseases including influenze, typhus, diptheria, measles and multiple outbreak of smallpox led to the fall of the Inca Empire in the late 16th-century.

Global Gallup Poll: US Voted Greatest Threat to World Peace

The polling agency Gallup recently asked about 1,000 people in each of 68 different countries which country they believed was the biggest threat to world peace.

The United States was by far the #1 answer, with 24% believing it to be the biggest threat. Pakistan, which came in second, only polled 8%, and China rounded out the top 3 at 6%.

It’s not too surprising that the US polled higher in countries like Russia (54%) and China (49%), but it also topped the list in the Latin American countries of Mexico (37%), Brazil (26%) and Peru (24%).

Perhaps more surprising is that in both Turkey and Greece, two of the United States’ NATO partners, 45% of people polled chose the US as the biggest threat to world peace.

In Britain and Germany, two of America’s closest allies, the US again tops the list, tying with Iran for the top spot in Britain at 16% and just edging out Iran in Germany with 17%.

Even here in the United States, 13% of people picked the US as the biggest threat, putting it in 4th place behind Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea.

Peru Is Giving FREE Solar Power to 2 Million of Its Poorest Residents by 2016

The initiative, known as The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program, began back in July, when 1,601 solar panels (like the ones below) were installed in the Peruvian province Contumaza, providing a reported 126 impoverished communities with power.

Peru’s Energy and Mining Minister, Jorge Merino, told the Latin American Herald that upon completion of the project, 95% of Peruvians will have electricity, compared with just 66% today. Merino went on to say,

This program is aimed at the poorest people, those who lack access to electric lighting and still use oil lamps, spending their own resources to pay for fuels that harm their health.”

The project wil build a total of 12,500 new photovoltaic systems and reach half a million households. The entire program will cost only $200 million, which is less than half of 1% of the country’s total public expenditures last year.