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Who created the Marree Man in Australia’s Outback?

Report · Unincorporated SA
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He is the world’s biggest geoglyph and yet he was discovered by accident. The giant man, however, is 4.2 km tall and measures an impressive perimeter of 28 km. If you are standing right in front one of the up to 35 m long and almost 30 cm deep lines, you won’t necessarily realize their extraordinary nature. The mysterious Marree Man only reveals his identity from above.

The day a giant was discovered

The charter pilot Trac Smith is used to the sight of the endless width of the South Australian Outback. Almost every day he flies over the auburn desert landscape. There is nothing here. The weather is too extreme and the distance to larger towns to big, which is why the region is practically deserted. Only very few animals and plants survive here.

Lake · Unincorporated SA

Lake Eyre

Unincorporated SA
The "Eyresee" is, once it is filled with water, the biggest lake of Australia and with 17 m under ...
from Cathrina Maria Beckers,   Outdooractive Editors

But when Smith flies over a spot near Lake Eyre on June 26, 1998, he is amazed. Drawn in the ground below, there is a gigantic figure of a man holding up his arm to throw a spear. At an altitude of over 1000 meters, Smith sees the drawing very clearly. But how did it get there?

When the entire world looked to Marree

There are many speculations about the creator of the geoglyph. Especially the people of the small town of Marree, that is located roughly 60 km east of the drawing, want to know who is responsible for their gigantic neighbor. Several anonymous press releases sent to local businesses in July and August 1998 led to the suggestion the creator must be American. However, the American vocabulary and measurement units could be a clever red herring. The only artist that was ever really associated with the Marree Man was Bardius Goldberg. He was known for his work that was visible from space. Goldberg, however, never confirmed or denied these rumors.

Who made the Maree Man? - the largest ground drawing on Earth

Until today nobody knows who is responsible for the giant in the outback. But science has been able to confirm some information about the creation of the geoglyph. The Marree Man was created in the spring of 1998 and it took approximately took six weeks. The lines must have been drawn with heavy machinery. It is also likely that a GPS was used. Moreover, the lines were filled with calcium lime to ensure that the figure is easier to spot from the sky.

Outrage and fascination

Satellitenbild vom Marree Man

Many politicians and anthropologist consider the drawing as vandalism. Especially the Dieri, the aboriginal tribe on whose territory the Marree Man lies, regard the figure as damage to their land.

No matter whether one describes the Marree Man as graffiti or art – the giant remains impressive. And the people of Marree do not want their neighbor to go away since he is responsible for something that they did not know before: tourists. And those tend to spend quite a bit of money for a flight over the world’s largest geoglyph.

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Outdooractive Editors User
Cathrina Maria Beckers
Updated: January 27, 2020

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