Candelabra, also called the Candelabra of the Andes, is a well-known prehistoric geoglyph found on the northern face of the Paracas Peninsula
Bay in Peru
. Pottery found nearby has been radio carbon dated to 200 BCE, the time of the Paracas culture. The design is cut two feet into the soil, with stones possibly from a later date placed around it.
The figure is 595 feet tall, large enough to be seen 12 miles at sea.It is approximately 595 feet long, and is visible for several miles out to sea. The geoglyph consists of 2-foot-deep (0.61 m) trenches carved into the hillside and stones used to mark its edges. Other lines are also carved into the hillside near it.
Local tradition holds that it represents the lightning rod or staff of the god Viracocha, who was worshipped throughout South America
.A variety of popular myths have arisen: one attributes it to José de San Martín; another suggests it is a Masonic symbol and yet another that sailors created it as a sign which they could view at sea for landfall.Visitors to the Candelabra should view the site under the supervision of a responsible and accredited guide.
Although the exact age of the Candelabra geoglpyh is unknown, archaeologists have found pottery around the site dating back to around 200 B.C. This pottery likely belonged to the Paracas people, although whether they were involved in the creation of the geoglyph is not known. The reason for the Candelabra's creation is also unknown, although it is most likely a representation of the trident, a lightning rod of the god Viracocha, who was seen in mythology throughout South America. It has been suggested that the Candelabra was built as a sign to sailors, or even as a symbolic representation of a hallucinogenic plant called Jimson weed. The Candelabra was first discovered by Spanish explorers in South America.