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Marree Man Geoglyph in Australia Does Reappearing Act

In June 1998, a pilot discovered a strange sight in the Australian outback that wasn’t there before—a huge outline of what appeared to be an Aboriginal man throwing either a boomerang or a stick. It turned out to be a geoglyph, which is a design on the ground typically made of natural elements and best viewed from above. This geoglyph was distinctive and large enough to be clearly visible in Landsat images.

Its origin remains a mystery, as no credible source has claimed responsibility. Over the years, the “Marree Man” faded because of rain and wind. In July 2000, Landsat 7 shows an outline with far fewer details.

In August 2016, the Marree Man was re-etched. A grader and GPS were used to re-create the outline, and this time the geoglyph is expected to last longer. The lines created are wind grooves that will trap water, so over time the outline should turn green.

Now clearly visible again in the November 2016 Landsat 8 image, Marree Man is among the biggest geoglyphs on Earth. It stretches 3.5 kilometers from the tip of his stick to his toes. From an airplane, a person would need to be at around 3,000 feet to view it in its entirety.

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