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Marree Man: Australia’s Greatest Mystery

Marree Man: Australia's Greatest Mystery 1

There is widespread interest in geoglyphs, which are the huge designs produced upon the ground by a wide range of cultures in different times and places. After all, it can be difficult for modern people to imagine our ancient ancestors producing such images without the benefit of modern technologies, but study of the matter suggests that while modern technologies can make the process easier, they are by no means necessary. Regardless, what is interesting is that people are still making geoglyphs in modern times, as shown by the existence of the Marree Man.

Marree Man: Australia

Maree Man South Australia, 28 June 1998. © Commonwealth of Australia 2004

What Do We Know for Sure about the Marree Man?

In short, the Marree Man is a geoglyph in South Australia that was noticed on June 26 of 1998 by a pilot who was flying over the remote region. For those who are curious, it seems to depict an indigenous man who is about to hurl either a boomerang or a stick of some sort, though it is interesting to note that its outline matches that of a statute called the Artemision Bronze but reversed.

No one knows who created the Marree Man, which is sometimes called Stuart’s Giant for the Scottish explorer named John Mcdouall Stuart. One line of speculation suggests that a local artist named Bardius Goldberg might have had a hand in it because he had expressed an interest in creating a piece of art that can be seen from space. However, there are various pieces of evidence such as a recovered bottle containing a note bearing an American flag as well as anonymous press releases sent to the media that suggest that Americans might have been involved in the whole thing. Unfortunately, neither theory is particularly strong, which is why there are plenty of people who dismiss what little evidence that exists as nothing more than red herrings.

Regardless, there remains a fair amount of interest in the creation of the Marree Man. As a result, an Australian entrepreneur named Dick Smith is offering $5,000 for people who are willing to offer additional information about the geoglyph. Interestingly, Smith suspects that the whole thing might have been created by a bunch of people who were bored with nothing to do, which to be perfectly honest, would not be particularly far-fetched because bored people have been responsible for some rather remarkable things over the course of human history.

featured image ©Peter Campbel

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