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Who built huge stone balls in Costa Rica?

Las Bolas Costa Rica
Las Bolas at the Diquis delta

Are mysteries able to defy the centuries? Despite all our knowledge, there are still more than one around the world. One of the most fascinating is found in Costa Rica.

Here in 1930 some workers of the United Fruit Company while they were busy planting banana trees they found a series of stone spheres, of different sizes and weighing up to 25 tons with a diameter of two and a half meters.

Who built the granodiorite spheres in Costa Rica?

Whoever made them must have struggled a lot. The stone of which they are made, the granodiorite, is an intrusive rock from the granite family which it visually resembles but from which it differs due to the greater presence of quartz, plagioclase and for a darker appearance due to the presence of mafic minerals (like biotite and hornblende) inside.

In addition to being perfectly cut, the mysterious spheres were perfectly smoothed and polished with care from the first glance. Hundreds of Las Bolas, as they are known in Costa Rica, have been found in the Diquis Delta area, between the towns of Palmar Sur and Ciudad Cortes.

More than 300 are known, with a diameter between half a meter and two and a half meters, but there is also an unknown number of smaller sizes. They were also found in the Osa Peninsula and on the Isla del Cano off the Peninsula itself.

Finally, some specimens have also been found near San Vito de Java, Ciudad Neilly, and Bolas. Over the centuries the spheres have rolled, and it cannot be excluded that initially they had been arranged according to precise alignments.

Las Bolas Costa Rica
Las Bolas while they are being measured

Were Las bolas gigantic planetariums?

Some archaeologists think that the spheres can represent the Sun, the Moon or some constellations. The first to propose this thesis was Professor Samuel Lothrop (1892-1965), Harvard archaeologist specializing in Central and South America who found 186 spheres during studies carried out in the 1940s.

Lothrop came to speculate that the spheres can be traced back to about 400 BC, although other experts believe them to be a couple of centuries older. For other archaeologists, the mysterious spheres may have been an ante litteram “status symbol”, placed near the access ramps to “mounds” (small mountains) on which it was customary to build the homes of tribal chiefs and shamans.

Bribi cosmology and the theory of ancient astronauts

In the Bribri cosmology (the Bribi were one of the American Aboriginal peoples present in some rural and forest areas of Costa Rica)the stone spheres are referred to as the “cannonballs of Tara” (or Tlatchque, the god of thunder), who through a giant cannon shot them at Serkes (god of winds and hurricanes), to drive him away from his possessions.

The mention of the spheres in local cosmology and the fact that they still have not been able to understand how they were made has led some to speculate that Las Bolas may be a trace of ancient alien astronauts.

They would have landed about 2,500 years ago in Costa Rica, where they would have helped the indigenous population to create the imposing spheres, which perhaps could represent elements of real star maps.

Las Bolas Costa Rica
Similar spheres have been found in Moeraki in New Zealand

Les bolas and the myth of Atlantis

Finally, some have tried to associate Las Bolas with the myth of Atlantis (which recently received confirmation of its existence from the discovery of some orichalcum ingots on an archaic merchant ship sunk off the coast of Gela [link]), claiming that these ancient artifacts were not made by the natives but only kept by them.

If true, however, the whole chronology of the mysterious long-lost city-state would have to be redone, given that for Plato it would have existed around 9,600 BC. Be it ancient alien astronauts or artifacts from Atlantis, the feeling is that it will take an authentic stroke of luck to finally solve the mystery of Las Bolas.

Tags: Unsolved mysteries, Ancient astronaut, history, archeology, Atlantis