An image carved into the north side of the Paracas Peninsula is one of South Americaâ€™s most mysterious archeological sites: Candelabro de los Andes (Candlestick of the Andes, because of its resemblance to a candlestick). The glyph measures 200 meters (652 feet) by 60 meters (196 feet), and is 1.2-3.2 meters (4-10 feet) deep. It can be seen from sea from as far as 20 kilometers (12 miles).
It is often attributed to the Paracas Culture of the first millennium BC, but in reality no one is sure exactly when or why it was made. Because of this, there are many theories regarding the carving. One of the stranger and more far-fetched was begun by alternative historian and founder of Ancient American Magazine, Frank Joseph, who suggested it resembles jimsonweed (Datura), a hallucinogenic plant. He thought that those who made the carving journeyed to Northern California, the nearest location jimsonweed can be found, and used the carving as a way to help them navigate their way home. Others believe it represents the staff of the Andean god, Viracocha. Most archaeologists, though, agree it represents the candelabra cactus (Browningia candelaris).
Ruins, Earth art (geoglyphs)
The glyph can only be seen from the sea; take a boat with a realiable agency.
Relative price: Free
Travel Skills: None
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