California’s Mysterious Blythe Intaglios: America’s Nazca Lines

The Blythe Intaglios or Blythe Geoglyphs are a group of gigantic figures found on the ground near Blythe, California. The intaglios are found about 15 miles (24 km) north of downtown Blythe, just west of U.S. Highway 95. The largest human figure is 171 feet (52 m) long. The intaglios are best viewed from the air.

The figures are so immense that they were not observed by non-Indians until the 1930s.  The set of geoglyphs includes several dozen figures and a labrynth, thought to be ceremonial in nature. They are believed to date from 1000 AD but could range from 450 to 10,000 years old. Although most think they were created by Mojave and Quechan Indians, their true origin is unknown. Many believe, due to their similarities of the Nazca Lines in Peru, that they are extraterrestrial in origin.

The (re)discovery of the Blythe Intaglios: In 1932, a pilot flying between Las Vegas and Blythe noticed the Blythe geoglyphs as they are only truly visible by air.

The labyrinth, known as The Topock Maze, covers 18 acres (73,000 m2) and consists of a series of parallel windrows (a row of trimmed crops) about five feet apart. A late 19th century unpublished ethnographic report states that the Mojave people used to put some of their men into the center of the maze, leaving them to find their way out without crossing the windrows.

Edward Curtis wrote in 1908 that, “It is believed that by running in and out through one of these immense labyrinths, one haunted with a dread [ghost] may bewilder the spirit occasioning it, and thus elude them.”  In other words, a way to ditch a ghost.

Via: ACuriousHistory

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One thought on “California’s Mysterious Blythe Intaglios: America’s Nazca Lines

  1. Fascinating! I found this place by mistake years ago on a wandering road trip, and am so glad that it hasn’t been destroyed by modern desert enthusiasts. It is truly sacred ground and an amazing link to the ancients. Given the heavy traffic on nearby I-10 it is wonderful that this incredible mysterious site is still intact, largely unknown, and free to visit.

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