Illustrated on a Chilean hillside known as Cerro Unitas and surrounded by thousands of smaller geoglyphs, the Atacama Giant, a massive image of a deity used to calculate the movements of the moon, stands as the largest geoglyph ever discovered.
Likely created sometime between 1000 and 1400 CE by a successive series of native cultures, the massive figure rests among about 5,000 smaller images of birds, mystical designs, and other images that have been etched on the ground. The images were created by either digging out the lines of the design from the soil, or by placing patterns of stones and sand on top of it, and sometimes a mixture of the two methods. The successive cultures working to create the images account for the variation.
The giant itself is 390 feet tall and built in a direct and unpretentious design with no flourishes save for the straight lines emanating from its head and torso to imitate either some sort of ceremonial garb or the strange features of a god. Whichever they symbolize, researchers have determined that they very likely served a practical purpose as well. The tines in the giant’s headdress align with the moon each night and in conjunction with the other points on its body the image can be used to predict the time of year so that the primitive builders could predict the coming of the crucial rainy season.
While the Atacama Giant may not be the most famous geoglyph in the game, the size, clarity, and former importance of the rain god of the desert leave little to be desired in such a site.