By Tim Binnall
A team of researchers in Japan have discovered a whopping 143 new Nazca Line drawings, including several curious depictions of various humanoid figures. The remarkable haul comes courtesy of scientists at Yamagata University who studied high-resolution satellite images "obtained through aerial laser measurements" of an area west of Peru's Nasca Pampa, where the country's famous geoglyphs are located. They then performed fieldwork in the location to confirm what they'd seen in the photos and to get an on-site view of the newfound drawings.
The geoglyphs discovered by the team feature depictions of a vast array of different animals including birds, monkeys, snakes, and camels. Intriguingly, the project also uncovered a number of heretofore unseen drawings which are of a humanoid variety. According to the researchers, "all of these figures were created by removing the black stones that cover the land, thereby exposing the white sand beneath." Amazingly, the largest such drawing found by the team was an astounding 330 feet across.
The 143 newfound drawings may actually turn out to be only the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to undiscovered geoglyphs in the region. That's because part of the project involved a feasibility study aimed at harnessing the power of IBM's Watson artificial intelligence technology to detect the drawings. The endeavor proved to be a success as the AI identified an otherwise-hard-to-discern humanoid figure carrying a stick. In light of that 'digital discovery,' the researchers intend to expand their use of the AI technology in the hopes that Watson might see something that their human eyes may have missed.