Geoglyphs of the Andes

The Atacama Desert and the Altiplano directly to its east are filled with geoglyphs – there are over 5 000 recorded in the Atacama alone, preserved in dry, largely windless landscapes. There are large drawings and paintings, there are petroforms made from piles of rock, and most famously there are petroglyphs: giant figures incised into…

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La Palacio de Sal: The Salt Hotel

Every year around this time, we start hearing the usual news stories about the various ice hotels constructed around the world, most notably the Jukkasjärvi Icehotel in Sweden and the Hôtel de Glace in Quebec.  These hotels and others like them are built from scratch every year using nothing but snow and ice reinforced with…

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Salar de Uyuni: The Flattest Place on Earth

Imagine an area 130 km (80 mi) long and 100 km (60 mi) wide – larger than 30 separate countries – that is blanched completely white and so flat that the variance in height from any single point to another is less than metre.  Such an area exists – the world’s largest salt flat, the…

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