The Mystery of Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres

Many past civilisations have left us artifacts which to us today, can still be puzzling. For example, the stone statues of Easter Island and the appearance of crystal skulls from various locations are just two. Another collection of strange artifacts was discovered in the 1930s in the jungles of Costa Rica.

    The jungle was being cleared in order to create a banana plantation for the United Fruit Company. Suddenly, the workers came across a large stone sphere. They began to find others varying in size from a few centimetres to over two metres in diameter. At first, it was thought they contained gold or some treasure and a few of the spheres were blown apart with dynamite. Nothing was found.

Stone Spheres with a View

    Luckily, the daughter of one of the company directors took an interest and studied them, producing a research paper. This attracted the attention of archaeologists. One of the puzzling aspects of the find amongst many, was that the nearest quarries where the stone may have come from was over twenty-five miles away from where they were found. Moving them would be a huge undertaking but we already know that it can be done if we consider other events in history like the construction of the Egyptian pyramids and the building of Stonehenge in the UK.

    So, we are left with, who made them and for what purpose? It is now believed they were fashioned between 800BCE and 1500CE by local tribes. They are made of a material similar to granite and the heaviest weights over sixteen tons. The reason for their existence is harder to pin down. Some believe they have a religious significance. Others that they portray the Sun and planets.

Stone Spheres on a Beach

    Today, some of them can be viewed in museums or in public outdoor settings. But quite a few are in private hands and are used as garden decorations. This leads others to believe this might also be the original reason for them; to show how powerful a tribal chief was or to mark out a tribe’s territory.

    Unfortunately, we are unlikely to find the truth out as there are no written records from that time and the tribes in question were mainly wiped out when the Spanish Conquistadors invaded their lands.

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