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Marree Man (wikipedia.org)
103 points by Lxr on Aug 25, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 27 comments



Google maps satellite view for those curious. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marree+Man/@-29.5335821,13...


The satellite image looks slightly different from the Wikipedia image. In the satellite image you can clearly see an ear, and the man is looking to the left. In the wikipedia image, it seems as if the man is wearing a mask and looks to the right. The band over the head is not visible in the satellite image.


The satellite picture is much clearer; the 'mask' on Wikipedia is probably the hair of the satellite image.


With the "Measure Distance" tool on Google Maps, the figure seems to be 2.6 km tall.


From the article:

"The figure is 2.7 km (1.7 mi) tall with a perimeter of 28 km (17 mi), extending over an area of about 2.5 km2 (620 acres)"


Interesting. Why do people assume this could not have been done without GPS? Maps have long been created by triangulation, is there any reason that process could not be used backwards to create a terrain feature from a map?


In fact, such lines were recreated without the help of GPS or flight: https://westerncourier.com/41241/news/students-recreate-nazc...


Agreed.

I'm sure theres a rich history of people claiming the pyramids/great wall/stone henge couldn't have been built without X technology, when they evidently were.


Exactly. Random idea, but one simple way to do it could have been to draw the figure on paper, draw a grid over it, for example with 1cm boxes, and then draw much bigger boxes, say 10 or 100 meters big on the soil. And then just copy box by box and in the end get rid of the grid. Who needs GPS?


Also interesting are the Blythe Intaglios along the California/Arizona border: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blythe_Intaglios


Article misses an important point: what is the latest date it definitely wasn't there? There's nothing in the article that makes it more recent than 1928.


Erosion, for one. probably historical aerial photography as well, but that’s not mentioned.

It is light on details such as how it was made (mechanics). But erosion has meant its needed to be redefined.


Australia’s a pretty big place and what population it has is mostly clustered in a few coastal locations. There are tons of spots that haven’t been visited in thousands of years, and possibly ever, despite 60Ky of inhabitation.

Visitors find it hard to grasp. Imagine if half the population of California inhabited the “lower 48” states. Where would they live?


My parents went on a joy-flight over Lake Eyre and Marree Man a few months ago... the lake was full for the first time in years after flooding in Queensland and it was was the highlight of their whole trip. Funnily enough they had never heard of Marree Man until the trip - it’s certainly something of an enigma here in Australia.


My family in South Australia has lived a 10h drive from this their entire life and no idea it existed. I should really visit.


Ah .. very australian. I live in middle europe and there are many places just "10h" drive away I have never visited and probably never will ..

But aside that, I doubt it will look spectacular close up.


In describing the scale of distances (and time) in the United States to a brit:

> In England, 100 miles is a long distance. In the US, 100 years is a long time.

This likely applies to Australia as well. Note that this is a vast oversimplification as there is certainly culture in both Australia and the US that is much older than 100 years, but it gives the sense that the country is young - the difference between the old world and the new world.


A 10h drive in Central Europe can get you far :). Australia is a vast emptiness as soon as you leave the coast. Also I’m hoping I can get the geoglyph in frame with a drone though I haven’t done the math to see whether that’s possible within the confines of the law in terms of altitude (120m max altitude in Oz).


Yes, I know ... been to your emptiness before, thats why I said, "very australian". Distances are relative, I know. Here I think long before doing a 2 h drive ..


Not legal, but I’d imagine you could push that ceiling safely and without any consequences out there. Problem is taking photos from illegally high makes the wrong kind of evidence.


There are apps that photograph an area and stitch the photos for you.


I don’t think it’s even really visible from the ground - maybe a vaguely scuffed and cleared strip of dirt.


Although 1/10 of its size Nazca lines[0] are pretty impressive too and they were made 2k years ago. Why couldn’t have this been made a lot far back.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazca_Lines


Anyone knows what he is holding in his right hand?


FTA

> The Marree Man geoglyph depicts a man holding either a woomera (a throwing stick once used to disperse small flocks of birds) or a boomerang (but see Plaque section below).


That's not exactly the description I would go with for a woomera. The woomera is not thrown, and acts as an extension of the arm when throwing a spear. A boomerang is more likely to be used for flocks of birds, so the definitions may have been mixed up.


People might know it better as an _atlatl_. Generically, it’s a “spear-thrower”. It’s amazing how much difference they make - good fun to make in the backyard!




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