Hi folks – I know a lot of you plan on watching the Super Bowl this weekend (well, perhaps maybe not a number of the denizens of this website) – I know it may sound sacrilegious to say this, especially as a highly regarded NFL coach, but instead of crunching the tape, I have more important matters to attend to. Most importantly, I need to escape this damned cold for a little while. I plan on taking a trip down south to Central America… word on the street is there are some very, very curious artifacts here that need some further investigation. Apparently there’s nothing quite like them anywhere else in the world…
THE STONE BALLS OF COSTA RICA
Location: Palmar Sur, Diquis Delta, Costa Rica
Date: 1930s – present
The Story: In the 1930s, when the United Fruit Company was clearing the Costa Rican jungle in order to create banana plantations, workers discovered a series of gigantic stone balls, some as larger than two meters in diameter, weighing over sixteen tons. Before they realized the historical significance of many of these artifacts, many ended up getting bulldozed, dynamited, and otherwise damaged, destroyed, or removed from their original location. The stone spheres are clearly man-made- most are believed to have been constructed via the cutting and polishing of gabbro, a coarse-grained type of basalt. Scientists have also dated the majority of these giant stone balls to between 700 and 1530 CE; a few come from before BCE, but most are around about a thousand years old, give or take. Over 300 have been found to date, and there’s a high likelihood of many others remaining out in the landscapes, yet to be discovered.
What’s Weird: There’s a lot of things we don’t know about these stones – how were they constructed, in an era where tools were not nearly as advanced? How was it that the rock used to carve these spheres was transported to their current locations, sometimes as much as 30 miles away? What was the purpose they served? Because of the fact that ancient tribes of central America did not have any written language, there’s almost nothing that researchers have to rely on, and instead have had to go back and do a ton of site reconstructions to look for clues to their purposes and reasons for existence. At any rate, in their current state, the balls have become something of a status symbol; because so many were moved from their original locations, discovering their original purpose may become harder as well. It’s a mark of prestige to have one of these spheres in your home or garden, and the National Museum in San José, Costa Rica, has a collection, including a number than were blown apart or bulldozed into smithereens and have since been reconstructed.
What might have happened?
A number of myths persist to this day as to the meaning of these giant stone balls. Some more crazy ones include that they were actually formed completely naturally, or that they were originally from the lost continent of Atlantis and subsequently moved later on. Other myths from local tradition include the idea that the natives who originally constructed the balls did so by softening the rocks through an acidic potion obtained by mixing together various local plants; while a few balls are made of limestone, which is dissolvable through acid, the gabbro-based balls, which are the vast majority, are not dissolvable. Others believe that their presence on the Isla del Caño, just about ten miles off the coast, is an indication that perhaps aliens are responsible for their creation, since the indigenous people of the area almost certainly would not have had the means to transport them over the water to a new location. Others say that the balls are mathematically perfect spheres; while the craftsmanship is excellent in most cases, they remain not mathematically perfect, and there is evidence that shows they were crafted with hand tools – though the exact process remains unclear.
At any rate, it’s unusual that with the current state of archaeology that we have so many unanswered questions about the stone balls; fortunately, the area they were first discovered was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, which will hopefully allow for tourists to see the spheres in their original splendour and also allow researchers to conduct further experiments uninhibited.
Coach Carroll’s Hypothesis: Without a doubt, this is just James Harrison not picking up his gym weights after he was finished using them. Clear as day. The carbon dating is just a misdirection… JUST LIKE HOW BUILDING 7 WAS.
Banner image courtesy of Low Commander of the Super Soldiers.