It was a short week (thank you, Columbus Day, you know, even if you did cause the downfall of millions) that left my blog schedule all a-jumble. You didn't even get a SIFWIW this week. Poor kids. But I'm here to bring good tidings because you are getting The Friday Five. I knew you'd be excited.
Better than crop circles, today I bring you five things carved into or out of the earth.
Cerne Abbas Giant - Drawn about 400 years ago, (gee, that doesn't seem very long ago, does it? Like Pilgrims were trying to forge lives in America then.) Folklore (my fave) tells us that a giant is buried beneath this hill and he may have been beheaded by the good people of Cerne Abbas. The Victorians believed erecting and dancing around a maypole here would lead to fertility. Science tells us that there used to be a severed head under the giant's free hand, indicating victory in war. And yes, that's his weewee hanging out.
#2) The Uffington White Horse - Anyone who's a western fan will tell you the good guys wear white hats and ride white horses. This has always been the case because during the Bronze Age, people were drawing white horses in the landscape in England. Or, well, probably because they were drawing it in limestone and limestone is white. The drawing of horses in landscapes is referred to as leucippotomy and sometimes done to draw people to an area, as was the case for the Folkestone White Horse, designed in 2003.
Nazca Lines - Carved into the desert in Peru (there's desert in Peru?) between 400 and 650 A.D., there are images of that scary monkey on the left, llamas, birds, spiders, whales and geometric shapes. Huh. Whatever for? I mean clearly these aren't spots where giant-slayers reigned or heroes cantered around on ponies. Some scientists believe the geometric ones were used the same way Stonehenge was: For cosmological reasons. Others think they might've been used to attract the attention of the gods.
#4) Not everything can be an awesome picture of something. (Creepy monkeys are not awesome. Just sayin'.) The Grave Creek Mound is one such thing carved into the earth that's not a picture. It's one of the largest burial mounds in America. It was discovered in the late 1700's and most of the items inside were destroyed while the land owner poked around trying to figure out what it was. Even more mysterious, the Grave Creek Stone is a flat sandstone rock with 23 or 25 characters engraved on it and was discovered in the mound. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (if you're from the Ozark Mountain Region, you ought to be at least passingly familiar with his name as he was a big explorer and historian around here) was the first person to extensively study the stone. Per Wikipedia, "His correspondence with “noted antiquarians” leads him to the conclusion that inscription contains “four characters corresponding to the Ancient Greek; four Etruscan; five Runic; six ancient Gallic; seven old Erse; ten Phoenician; fourteen old British; sixteen Celtiberic, with some resemblance to the Hebrew.”" The stone is widely regarded as a hoax.
Yonaguni Monument - A diver discovered these odd, temple-like rock formations in 1994. There are claims that this is man-made and claims that it was natural, but used by man in the past. The photo is of the "turtle" a star-shaped formation. Others include the "stage", a series of steps, a straight stone wall, and a boulder on a platform. The sharp right angles make people believe that this must've been done by human hands with amazing technology. You know, the kind that no one in 9000 BC would've had.