Australia is home to several fascinating geoglyphs, but the world’s biggest, and Australia’s most famous, is the fascinating Marree Man in remote central SA.
Australia is home to several fascinating geoglyphs (drawings or designs on the ground), including in the You Yangs in Victoria and parts of WA. But the world’s biggest, and Australia’s most famous, is the fascinating Marree Man in remote central SA.
A decade after its discovery by air on a plateau 60km west of the town of Marree, this gigantic artwork (thought to be of an Aboriginal man wielding a hunting or throwing stick) remains shrouded in mystery as to its origins.
There are a number of likely candidates, based on evidence in anonymous press releases and other items that have come to light over the years. These candidates include US or Australian Defence Forces in the area prior to and at the time of discovery, miners from nearby Olympic Dam with access to the earth movers and sat-nav equipment that would certainly have been required for the massive undertaking, a small scattering of artists known for similar works, or simply Marree locals aiming to put their town permanently on the map.
More than 4km long and made with lines around 30cm deep and up to 35m wide, it’s fading gradually from view, but is still perfectly visible from certain angles using local flying tours.
Where // 60km northwest of Marree, 670km north of Adelaide. You can fly over with it Wrightsair for $180 per person as part of a general Lake Eyre aerial trip. (08) 8670 7962, www.wrightsair.com.au
Did you know? // A small plaque bearing the US flag and the Olympic rings was dug up near Marree Man’s nose in ’99. On it were these words from a book called The Red Centre: “In honour of the land they once knew. His attainments in these pursuits are extraordinary; a constant source of wonderment and admiration.” Whatever that means.
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